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Alexandria Journal of Medicine

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Gender difference of knowledge and attitude of primary health care staff towards domestic violence

SF Alazmy, DM Alotaibi, AA Atwan, MI Kamel, MK El-Shazly

Abstract


Background: Cultural and traditional norms in the community can have an impact on gender equity. This can be reflected on attitude of both men and women towards domestic violence against women. Gender differences in knowledge and attitude of medical staff about domestic violence
can affect their role dealing with battered women.
Objective: The current study was formulated to compare knowledge and attitude of male and female medical staff about domestic violence against women.
Methods: To achieve this aim, a sample of 1553 health care workers was interviewed out of 2516 allocated for this study with an overall response rate of 61.7%. The target population for this study was all physicians and nurses in the primary health care centers in Kuwait.
Results: The results of the current study revealed that female medical primary health care workers tended to have a higher knowledge score about violence against women than male staff (72.8 +9.8% compared with 68.6 + 10.3%). They also had a higher overall attitude score than males (59.9 + 13.7% compared with 57.8 + 22.4%). Multivariate analysis showed that gender was a significant predictor, after adjusting for other confounding factors, of the overall knowledge, attitude and outcome scores of violence against women. No significant difference was revealed between
gender and the barrier domain of violence.
Conclusion: Female health care workers tended to have a better knowledge score about definition of domestic violence against women than male medical staff. Females also tended to accept hitting of wives by their husbands if there was a good reason more than males. There is a need to improve both knowledge and attitude of primary health care workers about domestic violence against women.



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