Modeling how violence permeates health and health care

Data show that violence against health care workers is becoming more common. But while violence resulting from wars or civil conflicts is a documented occupational hazard for health care workers, little is known about the impact on these workers and corresponding health services as a result of violence caused by widespread organized crime activity.

Nurse in a face mask and protective gear stands with a clipboard outside a hospital entrance that is roped off with police tape.

New research from the School of Nursing articulates a dynamic process of the spread and permeation of violence on Mexican health care services and providers. The study, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, is among the first to focus on how violence outside of an official war zone impacts local health care service providers. It also makes a case for violence as a structural contributor to health and health disparities in Mexico.

“Our study focuses on health care services and health in the context of widespread organized crime violence. Our research sheds more light on what we know about the multilevel impacts of violence on health care and health, which can inform the development and testing of interventions for providers, patients, and communities struggling everyday with violence,” says Laura Vargas, vice provost postdoctoral fellow at the Penn Injury Science Center at Penn Nursing and lead investigator of the study.

Read more at Penn Nursing News.