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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X


VIEIRA, Elisabeth Meloni et al. Knowledge and attitudes of healthcare workers towards gender based violence. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.4, pp.566-577. ISSN 1415-790X.

OBJECTIVES: There are several public policies to deal with violence against women in Brazil. The literature has reported that healthcare workers find this subject difficult to approach. To improve care in the public health system (SUS) of Ribeirão Preto, a study was conducted aiming to assess knowledge and attitudes of healthcare workers regarding gender violence. METHODS: A total 278 healthcare workers were contacted and 221 were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. RESULTS: 51 (23.0%) were nurses and 170 (77.0%) physicians, 119 (53.8%) males and 102 (46.2%) females, with a mean age of 38.6 years; 200 (90.5%) considered themselves to be white or Asian and 21 (9.5%) black or mulattos. They had an average of 12.5 years of professional practice and 158 (68.8%) had graduated from a public university. About 58.7% had an adequate general knowledge (good and high) about gender violence, which indicates the need to train healthcare workers. Regarding the barriers to identify violence, healthcare workers mentioned the lack of an institutional policy and the silence of women who do not reveal violence. Respondents, especially young women, presented more favorable attitudes towards women living in violence situation. CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, most of them show positive attitudes toward women living in violence and we infer that they present good potential for appropriate case management if they receive training.

Keywords : Gender violence; Violence against women; Professional training; Attitudes.

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