#WeNurses - Thursday 3rd August 2017 8pm (GMT Standard Time) Understanding domestic violence & abuse & the role of the RN

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Hosted by WeNurses using #WeNurses

This chat is guest hosted by @StaceyReesRNLD @parveenazamali @SarahLeeWallace

Globally, domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is now recognised as a serious health and social issue (WHO, 2015). Within the UK, approximately 1.3 million women and 600,000 men experienced any type of DVA in the last year (Office of National Statistics, 2016). Moreover, the economic, service and human cost of DVA has been estimated to be approximately sixteen billion per annum for England and Wales (Walby, 2009). When compared to non-victims there is a range of negative health consequences associated with victimisation. These include but are not limited to: poor mental health, chronic health disorders, physical injury, depression, diminished physical functioning, PTSD, substance misuse, suicide attempts, anxiety (Golding, 1999; Hegarty, 2006; Feder et al, 2011). The range of consequences means that DVA has the potential to permeate all aspects of nursing.

Yet, in spite of substantial numbers experiencing DVA, the extensive impact and associated costs, engaging healthcare services in DVA has been a challenge (Johnson, 2010). How the NHS identifies and handles DVA cases has been poor and this is particularly the case within primary care settings (Health Foundation, 2011). DVA permeates all aspects of nursing. Chang et al (2011) found only 44% of participants accessing mental health settings had been asked about DVA. Barriers to enquiring about DVA provided by professionals include a lack of knowledge and expertise or not considering it to be part of their role (Rose et al, 2011).

Nurses and midwives working in any health care settings can play a crucial role in identification, prevention and management of DVA (NICE, 2014) as they may regularly encounter DVA victims, who visit health care settings frequently (Houry et al., 2008). Pre-registration nursing and midwifery students need to be able to distinguish between injuries resulting from DVA or other causes. They need to be able to provide person centred, sensitive and empathetic care to such patients. However, DVA victims report that health care professionals (HCPs) often blamed them for abuse, do not show a concern, and do not address the abuse even when DVA was obvious. Evidence also suggests that nurses and other HCPs are often unprepared to deal with DVA victims (Sundborg, Saleh-Stattin, Wandell,& Tornkvist, 2012). To be able to effectively identify and respond to DVA victims, nurses, midwives as well as pre-registration nursing and midwifery students need to understand DVA and associated complexities. However, not much emphasis is placed on preparing nursing and midwifery students and registered nurses and midwives to deal with DVA issues in clinical practice. There is a need to explore DVA related knowledge, attitude and skills of registered nurses, midwives and nursing and midwifery students. Such knowledge will help in identifying the training and education needs of nurses, midwives and nursing and midwifery students.

The aim of this chat is to explore what registered nurses, midwives, and pre-registration nursing and midwifery students think about their role with regards to identification and management of DVA. The participants will also be encouraged to discuss training and preparation needs to prepare future workforce to effectively contribute to the DVA identification and management in various clinical settings.


About our guest hosts

Sarah Wallace has recently concluded PhD research at the University of South Wales that focussed on the needs of men experiencing domestic abuse and existing provision in Wales. The study used a mixed methods multi-strand design of in-depth interviews, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Prior to commencing research, Sarah worked within the domestic abuse sector supporting men and women. In 2013 she qualified as an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA).

Parveen Ali is a lecturer based at School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. She uses qualitative, quantitative and mixed research approaches to explore interpersonal violence in the families and communities. Her current work involves evaluation of a perpetrator programme offered to voluntary, low risk domestic violence perpetrators.

Stacey Rees is a Registered Nurse (Learning Disabilities) and is currently undertaking PhD research looking at the role of the Community Nurse supporting adults with learning disabilities access acute healthcare. Her interests include Vulnerable groups, Health Liaison and Health Inequalities.  

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