Intimate Partner Violence: ‘Troubling Knowledge and Practice Gaps’ among Rural Providers

By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

Table 8. Perceived self-efficacy on a 1-to-5 scale (mean score above 2.5 indicates greater sense of self-efficacy). Table 8. Perceived self-efficacy on a 1-to-5 scale (higher score indicates greater self-efficacy).

Intimate partner violence (IPV) remains a widespread health and social problem in the United States, affecting an estimated one in three women during her lifetime.

Health care providers can make a critical difference in the lives of these women, yet a lack of IPV-related knowledge, negative attitudes and beliefs, and low rates of screening are common. And women in rural areas face particular challenges.

To learn more about rural providers with regard to IPV, nurse researchers Karen Roush and Ann Kurth conducted a study. They report their findings in this month’s CE–Original Research feature, “Intimate Partner Violence: The Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors of Rural Health Care Providers.” Here’s an overview:

Methods: Health care providers working in a large rural health network were asked to complete electronic surveys that examined their IPV-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Descriptive and correlational statistical analyses of the data were conducted.
Results: A total of 93 providers returned completed surveys. In general, the respondents demonstrated good overall knowledge, judicious attitudes, and beliefs congruent with the available evidence. Of concern were their knowledge and practice gaps regarding the prevalence of IPV, the higher risk of injury faced by women who leave their abusers, the ability of women to make appropriate choices about their situations, and what actions to take when someone discloses abuse.
Conclusion: The results were encouraging with regard to the IPV-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of rural health care providers. But they also indicated important knowledge and practice gaps. Preparing providers to deliver compassionate, effective care to women who experience IPV is essential for the health and well-being of women and their families.

Implications. Pointing to confusion stemming from variation in state laws regarding mandated reporting of IPV, the authors call for the creation of a uniform national law. They recommend that health care organizations develop formal IPV policies with clear goals and procedures; and they urge organizations to provide IPV-related education for all staff.
[…]

AJN in June: IPV, Late Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment, Nurse Activists, More

AJN0616 Cover Online

This month’s cover photo evokes the isolation faced by victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). According to Karen Roush, PhD, RN, lead author of the study in this issue that reports on the perceptions of rural health care providers who care for these victims, “[i]solation is one of an abuser’s biggest weapons,” especially for those who live in rural areas.

Health care providers are positioned to provide support for victims of IPV, but knowledge and practice gaps get in the way. For more on this topic, read this month’s original research CE, “Intimate Partner Violence: The Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors of Rural Health Care Providers.”

Some other articles of note in the June issue:

CE Feature: Late and Long-Term Sequelae of Breast Cancer Treatment.” More than 12% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives; 78% of them can be expected to survive for at least 15 years. There are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States and as many as 90% of them report physical problems that can reduce functional ability, produce or exacerbate emotional problems, negatively affect body image, and diminish quality of life.

This third article in a series on cancer survivorship care from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center provides an overview of the potentially debilitating physical problems that many breast cancer survivors experience after treatment, and addresses assessment and management strategies.

Special Feature: Nurses in the Civil Rights Movement.” In the 1950s and 1960s, the civil rights movement gained momentum. This article highlights the experiences of five nurses and one nursing student who took a stand for social justice by protesting, marching, and organizing to fight for racial equality during that time. […]

May 27th, 2016|Nursing, nursing perspective|0 Comments

Violence Against Women: Old Stories Repeat, But Some Progress

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

Emergency lights #5, by DrStarbuck via Flickr Emergency lights #5, by DrStarbuck via Flickr

It seemed ironic that, during this month of domestic violence awareness, a Florida judge showed little awareness of the fear that intimate partner violence can instill. Judge Jerri Collins came under attack from victim advocacy groups after she jailed a young mother who was a victim of domestic violence for failing to show up in court to press charges against her husband. According to various news reports, the distraught woman was afraid to face her husband in court for his sentencing to 16 days for choking and threatening her with a knife. Advocates say the judge’s action sends a message that may result in many women not bringing charges against abusers.

According to the CDC report Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions And Recommended Data Elements (version 2.0; 2015), “over 1 in 5 women (22.3%) and nearly 1 in 7 men (14.0%) have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.” The real numbers are almost certainly higher, as many victims are afraid to report their partners for fear of retaliation once the abuser is released from jail. There are too many cases where that has happened, many ending in a woman’s death. Judge Collins’ actions seem heartless; she appears to be woefully misinformed about the dynamics and psychological effects of abuse.

At the recent Association for Women in Communications meeting in Kansas City, Nanette Braun of UN Women talked about several programs to raise awareness about women’s rights and reducing violence against women. The UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign has proclaimed the 25th of every month “Orange Day,” a call to action day to end violence against women and girls; Braun reported that over 60 countries have signed on to promote the campaign.

Another initiative that seems to have taken off, with the help of actress Emma Watson, is the HeForShe campaign, which aims to engage young men to end discrimination and violence against women and promote gender equality.

And here are some resources in AJN that you might find helpful: […]

October 19th, 2015|Nursing, nursing perspective, Patients|0 Comments

“One Day He Breaks Your Arm, and Then . . .”: How Nurses Can Help Rural Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Photo by Damien Gadal, via Flickr. Photo by Damien Gadal, via Flickr.

 By Sylvia Foley, AJN senior editor

“Imagine for a moment that your husband or boyfriend is regularly assaulting you, and often tells you that ‘nobody cares.’ Now imagine that you live in an isolated rural community. The nearest health care services are 75 miles away—and you can’t get there because he removes the car battery to keep you from driving . . . One day he breaks your arm, and then he drives you to that distant hospital. Will the nurses recognize what is happening? Will there be a chance for you to tell them?”

In this month’s CE feature, “Intimate Partner Violence in Rural U.S. Areas: What Every Nurse Should Know,” Amanda Dudgeon and Tracy Evanson explain why it’s important for nurses in all practice settings to understand the particular issues that rural survivors face and how to address them. (Most, though not all, victims of intimate partner violence are women; this article focuses primarily on female survivors.) Here’s a brief overview.

Intimate partner violence is a major health care issue, affecting nearly 6% of U.S. women annually. Multiple mental and physical health problems are associated with intimate partner violence, and billions of health care dollars are spent in trying to address the consequences. Although prevalence rates of intimate partner violence are roughly the same in rural and nonrural areas, rural survivors face distinct barriers in obtaining help and services. Because rural […]

May 7th, 2014|nursing perspective|4 Comments

AJN’s May Issue: Intimate Partner Violence, What Clinical Nursing Instructors Do, Containing Cholera, Noise in the ICU, More

AJN0514.Cover.OnlineAJN’s May issue is now available on our Web site. And in honor of Nurses Week, we are offering free access to the entire issue for the whole week (May 6-12). Here’s a selection of what not to miss.

Intimate partner violence. A major health care issue, intimate partner violence (IPV) affects almost 6% of U.S. women annually. And while prevalence rates of IPV are similar in rural and nonrural areas, rural survivors face distinct barriers in accessing care. “Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Areas: What Every Nurse Should Know” describes the unique aspects of IPV in rural populations and provides nurses with tools and information crucial to effective intervention. This CE feature offers 2.5 CE credits to those who take the test that follows the article. And don’t miss a podcast interview with one of the authors (this and other podcasts are accessible via the Behind the Article page on our Web site or, if you’re in our iPad app, by tapping the icon on the first page of the article).

Containing cholera. While still recovering from a magnitude-7 earthquake, Haiti confronted a second disaster: a rapidly growing cholera epidemic. The authors of “Responding to the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti,” part of a nongovernmental relief organization team sent to Haiti, describe how they managed more than 23,000 cases of cholera and prevented many more. Listen to a podcast interview with one of the authors and earn 2.5 CE credits by taking the test that follows the article.

New installment on systematic reviews. Last month, our new series from the Joanna Briggs Institute on writing a systematic review provided an overview of the first steps to take when conducting such a review. Now, the third installment of the series, “Constructing a Search Strategy and Searching for Evidence,” details how to develop a comprehensive search strategy.

Unwanted noise. Despite an increased emphasis on the need for noise reduction in intensive care, studies have found that noise levels in the ICU continue to exceed recommendations. “Noise in the ICU,” an article in our Critical Analysis, Critical Care column, provides evidence-based strategies nurses can implement to protect patients from noise. […]

April 25th, 2014|Nursing|0 Comments