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Healthcare providers’ perceptions on screening for Intimate Partner Violence in healthcare: A qualitative study of four health centres in Uganda

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.31001    3,712 Downloads   6,390 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The current qualitative study explored the perceptions of healthcare providers on screening for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in healthcare in Uganda, to develop a conceptual framework for factors likely to hinder/promote IPV screening in the country. Using purposive sampling, the study enlisted 54 healthcare workers (doctors and nurses) from four hospitals (i.e. Gulu referral hospital, Iganga referral hospital, Lacor hospital, Anaka hospital) to participate in eight focus group discussions. Data was thematically analysed using Template Analysis. The study found support for an ecological framework suggesting a complex interaction of factors at the individual (e.g. poor skills in detection of IPV by health workers and unwillingness to disclose abuse by patients), organisational (e.g. understaffing and lack of protocols for IPV screening) and societal (e.g. societal acceptance of abuse of women and poor policy on IPV management) levels as potential barriers to the practice of IPV screening in healthcare Uganda. These findings have important implications on further training of healthcare workers to adequately screen for IPV, re-organisation of the healthcare system so that it is fully-fledged to accommodate IPV screening and improved collaboration between the health sector and other community advocates in IPV management. These initiatives should run concurrently with a concerted community sensitization effort aimed at modifying attitudes towards IPV among care providers and recipients a like, as well as preparing the general population to will-fully disclose IPV to healthworkers. Study limitations and implications for further research are discussed.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Lawoko, S. , Seruwagi, G. , Marunga, I. , Mutto, M. , Ochola, E. , Oloya, G. , Piloya, J. and Lubega, M. (2013) Healthcare providers’ perceptions on screening for Intimate Partner Violence in healthcare: A qualitative study of four health centres in Uganda. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 1-11. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.31001.

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