A Qualitative Study of Challenges and Opportunities in Mobilizing Research Knowledge on Violence Against Women

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Abstract

Background

Effective delivery of interventions by health and social services requires research-based knowledge which identifies the causes and consequences of violence against women. Methods to effectively share new knowledge with violence against women decision-makers remain under studied.

Purpose

This paper examines how new research-based knowledge—namely, the lack of efficacy of health-care screening for exposure to intimate partner violence against women—is received by stakeholders in the violence against women field.

Methods

Data from 10 stakeholder group discussions (N = 86) conducted during a knowledge-sharing forum were analyzed to assess how stakeholders responded to the new knowledge.

Results

Participant reactions ranged from full acceptance to significant resistance to the research findings. We suggest themes that help explain these reactions, including the context and content of our findings and their epistemological match to participants’ experiences and beliefs, and the perceived value of research evidence, compared to other forms of knowledge.

Conclusions

Violence against women is a complex psycho-social phenomenon, and people with an interest in this field bring diverse and even conflicting perspectives regarding its causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

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