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Record ID: 2a90bdbe-754c-4d05-9006-0cd1d8692727
Type: Journal Article
Title: How do health practitioners in a large Australian public hospital identify and respond to reproductive abuse? A qualitative study
Authors: Wellington, Molly
Hegarty, Kelsey L
Marino, Jennifer
Tarzia, Laura
Year: 2019
Publisher: Wiley Online Library
Citation: Volume 43, Issue 5
Abstract:  Objective: Reproductive abuse is defined as a deliberate attempt to control or interfere with a woman’s reproductive choices. It is associated with a range of negative health outcomes and presents a hidden challenge for health practitioners. There is a dearth of research on reproductive abuse, particularly qualitative research. This study aims to address this gap by exploring how health practitioners in a large Australian public hospital identify and respond to reproductive abuse.

Methods: We conducted semi?structured interviews with n=17 health practitioners working across multiple disciplines within a large metropolitan public hospital in Victoria. Data were analysed thematically.

Results: Three themes were developed: Figuring out that something is wrong; Creating a safe space to work out what she wants; and Everyone needs to do their part.

Conclusions: Practitioners relied on intuition developed through experience to identify reproductive abuse. Once identified, most practitioners described a woman?led response promoting safety; however, there were inconsistencies in how this was enacted across different professions. Lack of clarity around the level of response required was also a barrier.

Implications for public health: Our findings highlight the pressing need for evidence?based guidelines for health practitioners and a ‘best practice’ model specific to reproductive abuse.
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