Opportunistic domestic violence screening for pregnant and post-partum women by community based health care providers

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Abstract

Background: Domestic violence against women is a global endemic that can commence or escalate during pregnancy and continue postpartum. Pregnant and postpartum women generally access health care providers more at this time than at any other time in their lives. Despite this, little is known about primary health care providers' screening practices for domestic violence. The purpose of this paper is to present survey findings that identified domestic violence screening practices of community based health care providers in pregnant and postpartum women. Methods: This paper reports on the survey results of a larger sequential mixed methods study that involved a survey and semi-structured interviews, and used a pragmatic approach to the data collection and analysis. The survey sought information via both fixed choice and open responses. Quantitative data from the surveys were entered into the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS™ Version 22) and analysed using descriptive statistics. Open responses were collated and then integrated and presented with the quantitative data. Results: Results revealed that some health care providers did not screen for domestic violence. Factors contributing to this lack of screening included: a lack of recognition that this was part of their role; and a lack of domestic violence screening policies and/or reminder systems. Further barriers to domestic violence screening were identified as a lack of time, resources and confidence in undertaking the screening and referral of women when domestic violence was detected. Conclusions: The findings reported in this paper confirm that further insights into the domestic violence screening practices of community based health care providers is required. Findings also have the potential to inform interventions that can be implemented to increase domestic violence screening and promote appropriate referral practices.

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APA

O’Reilly, R., & Peters, K. (2018). Opportunistic domestic violence screening for pregnant and post-partum women by community based health care providers. BMC Women’s Health, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-018-0620-2

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