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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 759682, 8 pages
Research Article

Assessing and Enhancing Health Care Providers’ Response to Domestic Violence

1School of Health Sciences, (Nursing Science), University of Tampere, Finland
2The District Hospital of Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland
3National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland

Received 11 December 2013; Accepted 13 March 2014; Published 22 April 2014

Academic Editor: Maria Helena Palucci Marziale

Copyright © 2014 Tuija Leppäkoski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to examine possible changes from 2008 to 2012 in the skills of health care staff in identifying and intervening in domestic violence (DV). A longitudinal descriptive study design with volunteer samples (baseline; , follow-up; ) was used to acquire information regarding the present state and needs of the staff in practices related to DV. The results of the baseline survey were used as a basis for planning two interventions: staff training and drafting practical guidelines. Information was collected by questionnaires from nurses, physicians, and social workers and supplemented by responses from the interviews. The data were analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. A chi-square test was used to test the statistical significance of the data sets. In addition, participants’ quotes are used to describe specific phenomena or issues. The comparison showed that overall a small positive change had taken place between the study periods. However, the participants were aware of their own shortcomings in identifying and intervening in DV. Changes happen slowly, and administrative support is needed to sustain such changes. Therefore, this paper offers recommendations to improve health care providers’ response to DV. Moreover, there is a great need for evaluating the training programme used.