Knowledge of Primary Care Physicians Regarding Domestic Violence.

  • Thuraya AA Ghayath RCGP-Kuwait, Head of East Sabahiya Clinic, Al-Ahmadi Health Region, Ministry of Health, Kuwait
  • Amani H Al-Sagobi MRCGP, Al-Surra Primary Health Center, Ministry of Health, Kuwait
  • Ameena MA Alansari MRCGP, Qortoba Primary Health Care Center, Ministry of Health, Kuwait
  • Medhat K El-Shazly 4MD, Department of Medical Statistics, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Egypt. & Department of Health Information and Medical record, Ministry of Health, Kuwait.
  • Mohamed I Kamel MD, Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University. & Department of Occupational Medicine, Ministry of Health, Kuwait.
Keywords: Domestic violence, primary care physicians, knowledge


Introduction: Domestic violence (DV) is considered as one of the most frequent forms of gender-based violence. Since primary care physicians frequently are the first in the community to encounter the battered woman, they must be equipped with the necessary knowledge, training and experience. Objective: The aim of this work was to study the knowledge and perception of primary care physicians about DV. Methods: This study was carried out in all primary health care centers in Kuwait. All physicians who were currently working in these centers during the study period were asked to complete a self-administered close-ended questionnaire that included personal and working conditions information. It included also Knowledge about prevalence of DV, and 4 main aspects relevant to DV, namely deprivation, psychological, physical and sexual domains. A 5-point, Likert-scale was used to assess participant’s answers for each item. For each participant, the scores were summed and categorized into high and low considering the median as the cutoff level. Results: Out of 900 physicians currently working in primary care, 565 returned the filled questionnaire with a response rate of 62.8%. The study revealed that physicians’ knowledge about the prevalence of DV were poor. A large group of physicians had negative perception to DV particularly regarding deprivation aspect. Nearly all physicians agreed about statements of physical and sexual domains. Psychological items scores came in between deprivation in one side and physical and sexual aspects in the other side. After adjustment for confounding, only female gender and family physicians (FPs)/specialists remained as significant factors associated high knowledge and perception score. Less than a third of the participating physicians received their knowledge and instructions about DV from scientific formal sources as medical schools, training courses and conferences. The majority of them (>80%) indicated that they were willing to receive training or guidelines instructions in the different topics for management of DV in the future. Conclusion: Overall, primary care physicians had poor knowledge regarding DV. Although female doctors and FPs are somewhat more knowledgeable about DV, many more educational activities are needed.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2090-2948
print ISSN: 1110-0834