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[G155] A COMPARATIVE STUDY, USING FOCUS GROUPS, OF PRIMARY CARE PROFESSIONALS' ATTITUDES TO, AND KNOWLEDGE OF, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ITS IMPACT UPON CHILDREN
R.M. Brooks, L.S. Wajsowicz, E.V.J. Webb. Department of Child Health. University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
Introduction: The new Working Together highlights domestic violence as an important area in child protection. Professionals in primary healthcare are best placed to identify the presence of domestic violence in families. Few studies hove explored the knowledge base and attitudes of these groups, and none their understanding of the impact of domestic violence on children.
Aims: To explore primary core professionals attitudes to, and knowledge of domestic violence; to identify differences between professionals groups; to describe the impact of these differences an their professional practice.
Method: Comparative qualitative study of 4 professionally based focus groups using a grounded theoretical framework. The four groups comprised General Practitioners (GPs), Health Visitors (HVs], school nurses, and midwives.
Results: GPs and HVs had a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of domestic violence than did school nurses and midwives. All groups had misconceptions about prevalence and risk factors. GPs had very limited information on support services, which affected their practice--they were more reluctant to respond to domestic violence …