Nurse perceptions of the family violence screening process and education program in a rural healthcare system

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Background. Nurses screen and evaluate inpatients and outpatients for family violence (FV) during the hospital admission process. Literature review. A literature review was conducted for 2009 to 2016 in EBSCOhost, PubMed, and Cochrane library databases using the search terms of domestic violence screening; barriers and domestic violence; domestic violence, healthcare, and nurses' attitudes; and domestic violence and nurses' knowledge. Purpose. The purpose was to evaluate nurse perceptions and attitudes about current FV patient screening processes. A secondary purpose was to determine nurse perceptions of the effect the online education module program had on their ability to identify FV-positive patients. Setting. The study was conducted in the ED and inpatient and outpatient settings in a rural healthcare system with three hospitals. Methods. Nurses performing FV screening during admission completed a 36-item validated survey; nurses previously completing the hospital's online FV education module also evaluated the module. Results. In this study, most of the 128 participating nurses (60.9%) had not identified any patients as positive for FV in the last year (average, 1.8); of those identifying FV-positive patients, the annual average was 2.9. Nurses perceived screening questions allowed FV-positive patients to be identified. Qualitative analysis identified the need for patient privacy during the screening process and for additional FV education and training for nurses. Limitations. Because this research was conducted in a rural healthcare system, the results may not be generalizable to other settings. The research involved a self-selected convenience sample of nurses. Conclusion. Nurse administrators should evaluate best practices for privacy for FV screening and assess and provide FV-related education and training for nurses.
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