Glossary

Absenteeism: Being absent from work.

Acts of serious violence in the workplace: Any act committed by a stranger, a client, a user, a patient, a colleague which directly or indirectly threatens the safety, physical integrity and psychological well-being of one or more employees within the course of their professional duties, including when traveling to or from work. Acts can take many forms, such as physical or sexual assault, theft or attempted robbery, attempted murder, verbal or written threats of serious injury or death, psychological or sexual harassment, or to be a witness to one of these acts.

Aggression / Attack: Deliberate behavior that physically harms another person, including sexual assault.

Anxiety: An emotion that occurs when a person perceives a threat of non-real danger (e.g. school exam) and generates a set of physiological sensations (e.g. heart palpitations, sweating, accelerated respiration).

Epidemiology: Study of factors influencing health problems affecting populations. Includes the onset, incidence, mode of transmission and evolution of the disease.

Fear: An emotion that occurs when real danger is imminent (e.g. armed attack) and generates a set of physiological sensations (e.g. heart palpitations, sweating, accelerated breathing).

Flashback: Dissociative reaction during which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event is recurring.

Gender: Condition related to being perceived as a man, a woman or a gender-diverse person, influenced by the psychological, behavioral, social and cultural aspects of a person’s life. In this program, gender is conceptualized to be an indicator of the cultural references that underlie attitudes and behaviors of women and men in respect to a particular phenomenon, situation or environment. These cultural references are linked to specific norms and values, along with typical norms and values for men and women (e.g. ethnicity, socioeconomic status, varied social roles).

Hypervigilance: A state of extreme vigilance or being constantly on the lookout, even when there is no real threat or danger.

Insomnia: Persistent sleeping difficulties; including difficulty falling asleep, interrupted sleep and early morning awakening.

Insult: Behavior that is humiliating, degrading or otherwise indicating a lack of respect for the dignity and worth of a person.

Intimidation: Repeated, long-term insulting, behavior manifested by vindictive, cruel or malicious attempts to humiliate or destabilize a person or a group.

Major Depression: A mood disorder characterized by at least five of the following symptoms: depressed mood, loss of interest, fatigue, change in appetite or body weight, change in sleep, decrease or agitation of physical motor activity, tendency to devalue oneself and feel guilty, suicidal ideation.

Mental Health: An essential component of a person’s health, more specifically the state of well-being that enables one to realize one’s potential, to productively cope with normal life difficulties and to be able to contribute to the community. This state of well-being corresponds to a balance between the different spheres of life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and emotional.

Musculoskeletal Disorders: Pain in muscles, tendons, and nerves (e.g. tendinitis, cervical tension). It is the most common occupational disease in developed countries at present.

Presenteeism: Being present at work despite a state of health that significantly interferes with the performance of professional tasks.

Preventive Measures (types):

  • Primary Preventive Measures: Measures taken to prevent violence before it happens. The measures focus are on organizational aspects.
  • Secondary Preventive Measures: Measures taken to reduce the impact following an act of violence. Measures include emergency services, medical and psychological first aid.
  • Tertiary Preventive Measures: Measures taken to prevent the long-term consequences of having been the victim of an act of violence. The measures target long-term care, such as rehabilitation and reintegration, to prevent chronic problems.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A psychological disorder that occurs as a result of exposure to a traumatic event and that includes the following symptoms (in category): revivification, avoidance, change in thoughts and emotions, and physiological hyperactivity.

Psychological Distress: A set of symptoms and experiences of a person’s internal life that are commonly considered disturbing, confusing, or out of the ordinary.

Psychological Harassment: Severe or repeated vexatious behavior of hostile or unwanted nature that undermines the dignity and the psychological or physical integrity which results in an unfavorable work environment for the employee.

Reviviscence: A category of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that includes recalling the traumatic event or associated emotions by various means (e.g. nightmares, flashbacks).

Self-esteem: The assessment of an individual’s competence, importance, success, and value.

Sexual Harassment: Conduct with sexual connotations (words, gestures, acts) unwanted, unwelcomed or humiliating.

Sex: A female or male identity that is based on the sex assigned at birth depending on its gonadal sex; a set of anatomical features that develop during the evolution of the embryo. Since this program does not include biological measures, the notion of sex refers to a dichotomous distinction based on the declared male or female identity.

Threat: Promise to use physical force or power (psychological force) resulting in fear of physical, sexual or psychological harm or other negative consequences for the individuals or groups targeted.

Victim (of violence): A person who is subject to violence or violent behavior(s).

Witness (violence): A person who has observed or heard another person who has been the victim of an act of violence.