More than one in 10 nurses in Spain report being physically assaulted on at least one occasion, according to researchers.
In addition, 34% have suffered threats and intimidation, and 37% have been subjected to insults.
Researchers surveyed 1,826 nurses from three hospitals and 22 primary care centres.
Both forms of violence – physical and non-physical aggression – showed significant correlations with symptoms of burnout including emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and inefficacy, they said.
“Studies indicate that health professionals are some of the most exposed to disorders steming from psychosocial risks and a high comorbidity: anxiety, depression, etc,” the study authors said in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
“There is a clear need for accurate instruments of evaluation to detect not only the burnout but also the areas that cause it. Professional exhaustion caused by aggression or other factors can reflect a deterioration in the healthcare relationship,” they added.