Accumulating evidence suggest that psychiatrists may be at greater risk of being stalked compared with the general population. We used a self-administered questionnaire to survey psychiatrists in Ireland about their experiences, practices and attitudes regarding work-related stalking.
We found that 25.1% of psychiatrists in Ireland had been the subject of stalking behaviour at some point in their career. At the time of the survey, 5.5% of respondents were actively being stalked. The majority of the stalking occurred in the workplace and most of the perpetrators were patients. Most of the victims were unaware of guidelines or other supportive mechanisms in their workplace. Of those who reported their experiences to authorities, almost half were not satisfied with the support they received.
Stalking of psychiatrists is not uncommon. Employers should put in place supportive structures backed up by education and training to reduce the incidence, associated morbidity and other wider consequences of stalking.
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