Healthcare Professionals’ Own Experiences of Domestic Violence and Abuse: A Meta-Analysis of Prevalence and Systematic Review of Risk Markers and Consequences

Sandi Dheensa*, Elizabeth McLindon, Chelsea Spencer, Stephanie Pereira, Satya Shresta, Elizabeth S Emsley, Alison C Gregory

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Globally, healthcare professionals (HCPs) are increasingly asked to identify and respond to domestic violence and abuse (DVA) among patients. However, their own experiences of DVA have been largely ignored.

Aim: To determine the prevalence of current and lifetime DVA victimisation among HCPs globally, and identify risk markers, consequences and support-seeking for DVA.

Method: PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL ASSIA and ProQuest were searched. Studies about HCPs’ personal experience of any type of DVA from any health service/country were included. Meta-analysis and narrative synthesis were adopted.

Results: Fifty-one reports were included. Pooled lifetime prevalence was 31.3% (95% CI [24.7%, 38.7%] p < .001)) and past-year prevalence was 10.4% (95% CI [5.8%, 17.9%] p <.001). Pooled lifetime prevalence significantly differed (Qb=6.96, p < .01) between men (14.8%) and women (41.8%), and between HCPs in low-middle income (64.0%) and high-income countries (20.7%) (Qb = 31.41, p <.001). Risk markers were similar to those in the general population, but aspects of the HCP role posed additional and unique risks/vulnerabilities. Direct and indirect consequences of DVA meant HCP-survivors were less able to work to their best ability. While HCP-survivors were more likely than other HCPs to identify and respond to DVA among patients, doing so could be distressing. HCP-survivors faced unique barriers to seeking support. Being unable to access support – which is crucial for leaving or ending relationships with abusive people – leaves HCP-survivors entrapped.

Conclusion: Specialised DVA interventions for HCPs are urgently needed, with adaptations for different groups and country settings. Future research should focus on developing interventions with HCP-survivors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • health personnel
  • nurses
  • physicians

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Healthcare Professionals’ Own Experiences of Domestic Violence and Abuse: A Meta-Analysis of Prevalence and Systematic Review of Risk Markers and Consequences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this