Impact of workplace violence on South Korean nurses' turnover intention: Mediating and moderating roles of depressive symptoms

Yanghee Pang, Hyunju Dan, Hyunseon Jeong, Oksoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Aim: To identify the mediating and moderating roles of depressive symptoms in the relationship between workplace violence and nurses' turnover intention in South Korea. Background: Workplace violence and depressive symptoms are known to influence turnover intentionsof employees. Introduction: Among healthcare workers, nurses may be at the greatest risk of exposure to workplace violence because they have frequent contact with patients and families of patients. Depressive symptoms reported to be related to workplace violence are one set of factors affecting turnover intention. Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed and employed to investigate mediation and moderation roles of depressive symptoms between workplace violence and turnover intention. Results: Verbal violence and sexual harassment increased depressive symptoms, which in turn increased turnover intentions in a sample of Korean nurses. Depressive symptoms showed partial mediation effects between verbal violence and sexual harassment and turnover intention. Depressive symptoms showed moderating effects on sexual harassment and turnover intention. Discussion: It is necessary to reduce turnover intention not only by preventing violence but also by managing depressive symptoms in nurses who have experienced verbal violence and sexual harassment. Conclusion: Depressive symptoms were shown to have a mediating and moderation roles on the relationship between WPV and turnover intention. Implications for nursing and health policy: Hospital managers such as hospital and nursing directors should provide effective policies to prevent verbal violence and sexual harassment to reduce turnover intention in the workplace. It is needed to educate patients and patient caregivers about the importance of preventing violence against nurses. Policies should be established to provide regular check-ups for depressive symptoms and psychological support for nurses who have experienced WPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a fund (2016‐ER6305‐01) by Research of the Korea National Institute of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Council of Nurses.


  • Depressive symptoms
  • nurses
  • sexual harassment
  • turnover intention
  • verbal violence
  • workplace violence


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