An organizational assessment of disruptive clinician behavior: Findings and implications

Jo M. Walrath, Deborah Dang, Dorothy Nyberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study investigated registered nurses' (RNs) and physicians' (MD) experiences with disruptive behavior, triggers, responses, and impacts on clinicians, patients, and the organization. Using the Disruptive Clinician Behavior Survey for Hospital Settings, it was found that RNs experienced a significantly higher frequency of disruptive behaviors and triggers than MDs; MDs (45% of 295) and RNs (37% of 689) reported that their peer's disruptive behavior affected them most negatively. The most frequently occurring trigger was pressure from high census, volume, and patient flow; 189 incidences of harm to patients as a result of disruptive behavior were reported. Findings provide organizational leaders with evidence to customize interventions to strengthen the culture of safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of nursing care quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • disruptive clinician behavior
  • interprofessional relations
  • organizational culture
  • quality of care
  • triggers to disruptive behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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