Healthcare providers 'need to recognise domestic violence'

8th June 2011

A nursing professor at the University of Missouri in the US has claimed that healthcare providers need to be educated to recognise the signs of domestic violence.

Tina Bloom said that recognising and preventing violence against mothers and children was vital in combating issues with low life expectancy at birth, which she said could be linked directly to domestic abuse.

Ms Bloom, an assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, said: "Healthcare providers are not well trained to routinely screen or recognise the signs of domestic abuse. We need to engage with current students, our future healthcare providers, to bring this issue to the forefront."

She added that addressing this problem, and those around it, would lead to healthier women and healthier babies.

A study conducted at Hull Royal Infirmary in the UK several years ago showed that around one in six women had suffered with domestic violence while they were pregnant. Researchers said they were concerned that it was much more prevalent that they had previously thought.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1. Stephen Lindow et al. "The prevalence of domestic violence in pregnant women." British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 22nd December 2011.

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