Obstacles and Limitations in the Use of Protocols Responding Intimate Partner Violence Against Women from the Health System in Spain
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AuthorBadenes Sastre, Marta; Lorente Acosta, Miguel; Beltrán Morillas, Ana María; Expósito Jiménez, Francisca
Cambridge University Press
Focus groupHealthcare centersPrimary care physiciansProtocolsRequirements
Badenes-Sastre, M., Lorente Acosta, M., Beltrán-Morillas, A. M., & Expósito, F. (2023). Obstacles and limitations in the use of protocols responding intimate partner violence against women from the health system in Spain. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 26. e23. [Doi:10.1017/SJP.2023.22]
SponsorshipMinisterio de Ciencia e Innovación del Gobierno de España PID2021–123125OB–I00; Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades del Gobierno de España FPU17/01279; Universidad de Granada UGR
Intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) is a public health problem that affects women worldwide. Consequently, victims frequently go to healthcare centers, usually with a cover reason. To address this problem, national and autonomic protocols to respond to IPVAW in health systems have been developed in Spain. In this regard, the role of primary care physicians (PCPs) will be essential for addressing IPVAW, but they could encounter obstacles in doing so. The purpose of this study was to explore how IPVAW is addressed in healthcare centers in Spain. This study synthesized the information available in the protocols to address IPVAW among health care workers in Spain and analyzed it according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Additionally, PCPs' perspectives on these protocols and the nature of IPVAW attention from healthcare centers were explored through a focus group. The findings displayed that, although the protocols mostly conform to WHO guidelines, they are insufficient to address IPVAW. Generally, PCPs were unaware of the existence of the protocols and referred to the lack of training in IPVAW and protocol use as one of the main obstacles to intervening, along with a lack of time and feelings as well as cultural, educational, and political factors. The adoption of measures to ensure that PCPs apply these protocols correctly and to approach PCPs' obstacles for addressing IPVAW in consultations will be crucial for the care of victims.