Ready, willing and able? A survey of clinicians’ perceptions about domestic violence screening in a regional hospital emergency department
Saberi, E, Eather, N, Pascoe, S, McFadzean, M, Doran, F & Hutchinson, M 2016, 'Ready, willing and able? A survey of clinicians’ perceptions about domestic violence screening in a regional hospital emergency department', Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 82-86.
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Background: Domestic violence (DV) has significant health impacts for victims and their families. Despite evidence that routine screening increases the identification of DV and opportunities for support; routine screening is uncommon in Australian emergency departments (EDs). This study explored ED clinicians’ level of support for DV screening; current screening practices; and perceived barriers and readiness to screen prior to a pilot intervention. Methods: Census survey of 76 ED clinicians. A number of questionnaire items were generated through a review of the literature, with readiness to screen for DV assessed through the short version of the Domestic Violence Healthcare Provider Scale . The confidential and anonymous online survey was hosted on the Qualtrics platform. Descriptive and comparative statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS version 22. Results: Most clinicians supported screening for DV in the ED. In the absence of protocols, 72.3% (n = 55) of clinicians reported currently engaging in case-based screening, which preferenced women with physical injury. The majority did not always feel comfortable screening for DV (79.7% n = 59) and reported they had received insufficient training for this role (88.7% n = 55). Lower perceived self-efficacy and fear of offending were statistically associated with discomfort or negative beliefs about DV enquiry (p = < 0.05). Conclusion: Emergency department clinicians reported feeling ill-equipped and under-prepared to inquire about and respond to DV. These findings provide valuable insight about the training and support needs of ED clinicians prior to the commencement of routine screening in EDs.