AIM: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of primary health care providers regarding the identification and management of domestic violence in a hospital based primary health care setting.
METHOD: A survey of all clinicians and nursing staff of the outpatient, casualty and antenatal clinics in University Malaya Medical Centre using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS: Hundred and eight out of 188 available staff participated. Sixty-two percent of the clinicians and 66.9% of the nursing staff perceived the prevalence of domestic violence within their patients to be very rare or rare. Majority of the clinicians (68.9%) reported asking their patients regarding domestic violence 'at times' but 26.2% had never asked at all. Time factor, concern about offending the patient and unsure of how to ask were reported as barriers in asking for domestic violence by 66%, 52.5% and 32.8% of the clinicians respectively. Clinicians have different practices and levels of confidence within the management of domestic violence. Victim-blaming attitude exists in 28% of the clinicians and 51.1% of the nursing staff. Less than a third of the participants reported knowing of any written protocol for domestic violence management. Only 20% of the clinicians and 6.8% of the nursing staff had ever attended any educational program related to domestic violence.
CONCLUSION: Lack of positive attitude and positive practices among the staff towards domestic violence identification and management might be related to inadequate knowledge and inappropriate personal values regarding domestic violence.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.