299 Domestic Violence. How Can We Identify Women At Risk In Primary Care? Exploring Perceptions Of The Primary Health Care Team And Women Who Have Experienced Abuse

Sheila Hudson
Domestic violence has come to be viewed as a serious criminal and social problem in the UK. It is a public health issue which is relevant to Primary Care. Little research has explored how the problem is viewed in Primary Care. Research shows that the victims of domestic violence face problems when seeking help and access to health services. US research indicates that a screening tool is useful for staff to identify and manage women at risk, but it is not yet clear whether it would be useful to employ a similar approach in the UK. This study aims to look at whether the introduction of an assessment tool is feasible for staff and patients. Primary health care teams and the victims of domestic violence were explored in the north west of England
Method: A qualitative methodology was employed. Members of the primary health care team (n=16) were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Perceptions of health care services of abuse victims was elicited through two focus groups.
Findings: Four main themes emerged from the staff interviews: preconceptions of domestic violence; education and training, relationships and trust and confidence to address the problem. Analysis of the focus groups with the abused women revealed three main themes: disclosing information, building relationships, and raising awareness.
Issues which need to be addressed by primary care, which have been voiced by both staff and women. Staff need to be aware of domestic violence build trust and confidence in sufferers. Training and a co-ordinator within the service would help raise awareness. Both groups felt that sensitive use of an assessment tool was favourable.
299 Domestic Violence. How can we Identify Women at Risk in Primary Care? Exploring Perceptions of the Primary Health Care Team and Women who have Experienced Abuse