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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 708908, 12 pages
Research Article

Estimating the Impact of Workplace Bullying: Humanistic and Economic Burden among Workers with Chronic Medical Conditions

1Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20124 Milan, Italy
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Catania, 95131 Catania, Italy
3Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
4Department of Mental Health, UO Cava de’Tirreni, 84013 Salerno, Italy
5Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
6Department of Mental Health, ASS n.6, 33170 Pordenone, Italy
7IRCCS Maggiore Policlinico Hospital, Ca’Granda Foundation, 20124 Milan, Italy
8Department of Health Sciences, School of Specialization in Psychiatry, Magna Græcia University of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
9Psychiatric Neuroscience Group, Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences, University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy
10Department of Mental Health, ULSS 7, Conegliano, 31015 Treviso, Italy
11Unit of Psychiatry, Sant’Anna Hospital, 22100 Como, Italy
12National Association of Rheumatic Patients (ANMAR), 00153 Rome, Italy
13National Association for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (AMICI), 20131 Milan, Italy
14Department of Mental Health, AULSS Legnago Hospital, Legnago, 37045 Verona, Italy
15Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry Unit, University of Parma, 43121 Parma, Italy
16Mental Health Department, AUSL, 43126 Parma, Italy
17Department of Experimental and Clinic Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, 56100 Pisa, Italy
18Depression Unit, Neuroscience Department, Fatebenefratelli Hospital, 20137 Milan, Italy
19Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
20Division of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology and Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, New Faculty of Medicine, University of Perugia, Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, 06156 Perugia, Italy
21Unit of Psychiatry, A.S.L. CN1, 12100 Cuneo, Italy
22Servizio Psichiatrico di Diagnosi e Cura (SPDC), Tivoli Hospital, 00019 Rome, Italy
23Department of Mental Health, ASL3, 16125 Genoa, Italy
24Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Insubria, 21100 Varese, Italy
25National Association ANAP Onlus, Rivoli, 10098 Turin, Italy

Received 16 January 2015; Revised 12 March 2015; Accepted 27 April 2015

Academic Editor: Stavroula Leka

Copyright © 2015 A. Fattori et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Although the prevalence of work-limiting diseases is increasing, the interplay between occupational exposures and chronic medical conditions remains largely uncharacterized. Research has shown the detrimental effects of workplace bullying but very little is known about the humanistic and productivity cost in victims with chronic illnesses. We sought to assess work productivity losses and health disutility associated with bullying among subjects with chronic medical conditions. Methods. Participants () with chronic diseases answered a self-administered survey including sociodemographic and clinical data, workplace bullying experience, the SF-12 questionnaire, and the Work Productivity Activity Impairment questionnaire. Results. The prevalence of significant impairment was higher among victims of workplace bullying as compared to nonvictims (SF-12 PCS: 55.5% versus 67.9%, ; SF-12 MCS: 59.4% versus 74.3%, ). The adjusted marginal overall productivity cost of workplace bullying ranged from 13.9% to 17.4%, corresponding to Italian Purchase Power Parity (PPP) 2010 US$ 4182–5236 yearly. Association estimates were independent and not moderated by concurrent medical conditions. Conclusions. Our findings demonstrate that the burden on workers’ quality of life and productivity associated with workplace bullying is substantial. This study provides key data to inform policy-making and prioritize occupational health interventions.