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Workplace incivility in hospitals: a significant barrier to patient safety and care quality
  1. Merav Ben Natan
  1. Pat Matthews School of Nursing, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera, Haifa, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Professor Merav Ben Natan, Pat Matthews School of Nursing, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera, Haifa, Israel; meraav{at}

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Commentary on: Freedman B, Li WW, Liang Z, Hartin P, Biedermann N. The prevalence of incivility in hospitals and the effects of incivility on patient safety culture and outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Adv Nurs. Published online March 21, 2024. doi:10.1111/jan.16111

Implications for practice and research

  • Practice: Implement anti-incivility programmes, including training and policies, to improve teamwork, communication and management support, thereby enhancing patient safety culture (PSC).

  • Research: Investigate mediating factors such as conflict handling, psychological resilience and self-efficacy to understand their impact on the relationship between incivility and patient safety, guiding effective intervention development.


Workplace incivility, characterised by low-intensity deviant behaviour, undermines mutual respect,1 particularly in nursing where it includes behaviours like blame-shifting and gossiping. Its prevalence in healthcare negatively impacts PSC by reducing communication and teamwork quality and increasing patient harm.2 Understanding and addressing incivility in hospitals is crucial for fostering a collaborative work environment and improving patient care.


This study2 aimed to …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.