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General practice clinicians' perspectives on involving and supporting children and adult perpetrators in families experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Government and professional guidance encourages general practice clinicians to identify and refer children who experience domestic violence and abuse (DVA) but there is scant understanding of how general practice clinicians currently work with DVA in families.

OBJECTIVES

The study explored general practice clinicians' practice with children and their parents experiencing DVA and reflected on the findings in the light of current research and policy guidelines.

METHODS

Semi-structured interviews with 54 clinicians (42 GPs and 12 practice nurses/nurse practitioners) were conducted across six sites in England. Data were analysed using current literature and emerging themes. Data presented here concern clinicians' perspectives on engaging with family members when a parent discloses that she is experiencing DVA.

RESULTS

When a parent disclosed DVA, clinicians were more likely to consider talking to abusive fathers than talking to children about the abuse. Perspectives varied according to whether consultation opportunities arose, risks, consent and confidentiality. Perceptions of 'patienthood', relationships and competence shaped clinicians' engagement. Perpetrators were seen as competent informers and active service users, with potential for accepting advice and support. Clinicians were more hesitant in talking with children. Where this was considered, children tended to be seen as passive informants, only two GPs described direct and ongoing consultations with children and providing them with access to support.

CONCLUSION

Clinicians appear more inclined to engage directly with abusive fathers than children experiencing DVA. Clinician skills and confidence to talk directly with children experiencing DVA, in child sensitive ways, should be developed through appropriate training.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    School of Social Work, Care and Community, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, CLarkins@uclan.ac.uk.

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    Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds.

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    School for Social Policy, University of Bristol, Bristol and.

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    School of Social Work, Care and Community, University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

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    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

    Source

    Family practice 32:6 2015 Dec pg 701-5

    MeSH

    Adult
    Attitude of Health Personnel
    Child
    Clinical Competence
    Domestic Violence
    England
    Female
    General Practitioners
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Physician-Patient Relations
    Professional-Family Relations
    Qualitative Research
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    ENG

    PubMed ID

    26358011