Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://anrows.intersearch.com.au/anrowsjspui/handle/1/22421
Record ID: 9ab09c5a-8367-414e-9e2c-e92255fcc86d
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcac184
Type: Journal Article
Title: The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients experiencing family violence presenting to an Australian health service
Authors: Braddy, Lisa
Collins, Melinda
Crowe, Marianne
Cleak, Helen
Kallianis, Voula
ANRA Topic: Health, primary care and specialist service responses
Natural disasters and pandemics
ANRA Population: General population
Year: 2022
Publisher: Oxford Academic
Abstract:  The Social Work Department of a large Australian health service has led an organisation-wide risk identification reporting system providing oversight of family violence cases. The availability of this data offered a unique opportunity for robust evidence collection of the victim survivor experience, and the clinical response, over an eight-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The audit of family violence notifications and clinical notes (n = 283) identified 36 per cent of cases were impacted by pandemic-related factors. Psychological (69 per cent) and physical abuse (64 per cent) were the most identified forms of family violence. Multiple pandemic-related stressors were evident, including financial stress (38 per cent), housing instability (27 per cent) and unemployment (22 per cent). Telehealth was seen as both an opportunity for further control by perpetrators as well as a strategy to stay connected with at risk and isolated patients. Two focus groups with clinical staff (n = 16) described evidence of an increased shared sense of responsibility amongst multidisciplinary colleagues towards family violence presentations during COVID-19. The findings contribute to emerging knowledge about risks and barriers impacting victim survivors during disasters, such as pandemics, and offer strategies for improving practice. Findings highlight the important role of social workers in data collection and analysis to inform their practice.
Notes: 

The Social Work Department of a large Australian health service has led an organisation-wide risk identification reporting system providing oversight of family violence cases. The availability of this data offered a unique opportunity for robust evidence collection of the victim survivor experience, and the clinical response, over an eight-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The audit of family violence notifications and clinical notes (n = 283) identified 36 per cent of cases were impacted by pandemic-related factors. Psychological (69 per cent) and physical abuse (64 per cent) were the most identified forms of family violence. Multiple pandemic-related stressors were evident, including financial stress (38 per cent), housing instability (27 per cent) and unemployment (22 per cent). Telehealth was seen as both an opportunity for further control by perpetrators as well as a strategy to stay connected with at risk and isolated patients. Two focus groups with clinical staff (n = 16) described evidence of an increased shared sense of responsibility amongst multidisciplinary colleagues towards family violence presentations during COVID-19. The findings contribute to emerging knowledge about risks and barriers impacting victim survivors during disasters, such as pandemics, and offer strategies for improving practice. Findings highlight the important role of social workers in data collection and analysis to inform their practice.

URI: https://anrows.intersearch.com.au/anrowsjspui/handle/1/22421
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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