Training Sri Lankan public health midwives on intimate partner violence: a pre-and post-intervention study

Type Journal Article - BMC Public Health
Title Training Sri Lankan public health midwives on intimate partner violence: a pre-and post-intervention study
Volume 15
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 331
In many developing countries, intimate partner violence (IPV) training is not available for health providers. As a pioneer among developing countries, in 2009, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health trained a group of community health providers known as public health midwives (PHMs) on IPV. We evaluated that training program’s efficacy in improving PHMs’ identification and management of IPV sufferers in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

We conducted this study from August 2009 to September 2010. We used a self-administered structured questionnaire to examine the following variables among 408 PHMs: self-reported IPV practices, IPV knowledge, perceived barriers, perceived responsibility, and self-confidence in identifying and assisting IPV sufferers. We used McNemar’s test to compare PHMs’ pre- and post-intervention IPV practices. Using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, we compared PHMs’ pre-and post-intervention IPV knowledge, as well as their perceived barriers, responsibility, and self-confidence scores.

The IPV training program improved PHMs’ IPV practices significantly. Six months after the intervention, 98.5% (n = 402) of the 408 PHMs identified at least one IPV sufferer in the previous three months, compared to 73.3% (n = 299) in the pre-intervention (p < 0.001). At post-intervention, 96.5% (n = 387) of the PHMs discussed IPV with identified sufferers and suggested solutions; only 67.3% (n = 201) did so at the pre-intervention (p < 0.001). In addition, after the intervention, there were significant increases (p < 0.001) in the median total scores of PHMs’ IPV knowledge (0.62 vs. 0.88), perceived responsibility (3.20 vs. 4.60), and self-confidence (1.81 vs. 2.75). PHMs’ perceived barriers decreased from 2.43 to 1.14 (p < 0.001).

An IPV training program for PHMs improved identification and assistance of IPV sufferers in Kandy, Sri Lanka. This training program has the potential to improve PHMs’ skills in preventing IPV and supporting sufferers in other regions of Sri Lanka. Other developing countries might learn lessons from Sri Lanka’s IPV training.

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