Perceptions of health care providers in Mulago hospital on prevention and management of domestic violence
Kaye, Dan K.
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Objective: To explore knowledge, attitudes and practices of health workers in Mulago hospital towards domestic violence prevention and management, especially violence during pregnancy. Methods: From 5th to 25th March 2000, self-administered pre-coded questionnaires were given to a purposively selected sample of 48 health workers identified from staff of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department, Mulago Hospital, Uganda. The questionnaire had 22 statements assessing knowledge, attitudes and practices, to which participants gave responses on a Likert scale ranging from whether they agreed, disagreed or were undecided. Responses were analyzed in terms of frequencies and percentages. To corroborate information obtained, in-depth interviews were conducted with clinic and ward administrators on knowledge, attitudes, practices and barriers to survivors’ management. Results: Many respondents had poor knowledge of domestic violence management or prevention. Though they believed counseling survivors was necessary, none of the in-depth interviewees had counseling skills or had ever referred patients or survivors for such counseling. Lack of technical competence, negative attitudes and institutional constraints were cited as main barriers to provision of optimal care to survivors. Conclusion: Health workers of Mulago hospital lacked knowledge on management, had negative attitudes and provided sub-optimal care to domestic violence survivors.