Healthcare providers’ perceptions on screening for Intimate Partner Violence in healthcare: A qualitative study of four health centres in Uganda
Seruwagi, Gloria K.
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The current qualitative study explored the per-ceptions 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 screen-ing in the country. Using purposive sampling, the study enlisted 54 healthcare workers (doc-tors 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. under-staffing 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 scree- ning and improved collaboration between the health sector and other community advocates in IPV management. These initiatives should run concurrently with a concerted community sen-sitization effort aimed at modifying attitudes towards IPV among care providers and recipi-ents a like, as well as preparing the general population to will-fully disclose IPV to health- workers. Study limitations and implications for further research are discussed.
- Medical and Health Sciences