Table 2

Schema for GPs’ perceptions of the causes of occupational violence in general practice

Underlying causes

    Individual patient causes

  • Psychiatric disease

  • Use of illicit drugs

  • Sexual motivations

  • Physical illness

  • Patient personality

    Societal causes

  • Poverty and social dislocation

  • Population density

  • Respect for authority

  • “Bowling for Columbine” effect and the culture of fear

Proximate causes

    Frustration accessing care

  • Waiting times

  • Denial of access to care or medical services

    Failure to discourage or circumvent violence (on the part of the doctor or practice)

  • “Naïve” practice culture

  • Deficient interpersonal skills

General practitioner vulnerability

    Provision of information to third parties

  • Legal matters

  • Licensing authorities

Duty to service all patients