Around half of respondents in a survey of visiting nurses said they have suffered some form of harassment when going to patients' homes, an industry survey showed Thursday.

The number of nurses visiting patients outside of medical institutions has been on the rise amid the growing number of elderly people who prefer to receive nursing services at home. But the nurses often have to go to the patients' homes alone.

Asked whether they had experienced forms of physical, mental or sexual harassment, half of the respondents for each category said yes, according to the survey by the National Association for Visiting Nurse Service.