Palestinian health care providers’ barriers to ask about violence: a qualitative study
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An-Najah National University Department of Biomedical Science Faculty of Medicine An-Najah National University Nablus P.O.Box 07 Palestinian Territory, Occupied
An-Najah National University Palestinian Territory, Occupied
An-Najah National University
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A828
Health care providers (HCPs) have regular contact with women in a variety of circumstances. This includes routine appointments, and childbirths visits. Nurses and midwives, in particular, are in an ideal position to screen women for domestic violence (DV). It is recommended that HCPs should ask about DV when there is an identified risk, or assessed condition that may have been caused by DV (1). Guidelines in different countries required HCPs to routinely screen for DV (1). Yet, some HCPs are reluctant to undertake this important role. The current study aims at assessing barriers that face Palestinian HCPs and limit their chance to ask about violence.

Four primary health care clinics, that serve disadvantaged populations in the West Bank, were purposely chosen. HCPs views about barriers that limited their chance to ask about violence were assessed through semi-structured interviews. Those were audio-recorded, translated and transcribed verbatim into Arabic. A sample of the transcribed interviews was checked against the Arabic recording by the first author, to ensure accuracy. Transcripts were then translated into English. Data from the transcript were anonymized and analyzed thematically. Ethical approval was obtained from An-Najah National University.

Twenty four HCPs were interviewed. Individual, community, and managerial barriers were commonly viewed by HCPs as barriers to ask about DV. At individual level, lack of knowledge about the availability of DV protocols in the clinics, and experience, and fear of family retaliation. were reported as barriers by most of HCPs. At community level, women refuse to disclose violence as well as views around family privacy. At managerial level, heavy workload and lack of support.

Reproductive health care services are an important setting, where most women can easily visit. Assessing and eliminating barriers that limited the chance of HCPs to help survivors of violence is crucial.

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