Despite the high prevalence of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) among patients with psychiatric conditions, detection rates are low. Limited knowledge and skills on DVA in mental healthcare (MHC) professionals might contribute to poor identification.
To assess the level of, and factors associated with, DVA knowledge and skills among MHC professionals.
A total of 278 professionals in Dutch MHC institutions completed a survey assessing factual knowledge, perceived knowledge, perceived skills and attitudes about DVA.
On average, low scores were reported for perceived skills and knowledge. MHC professionals in primary care scored higher than those working with individuals with severe mental illness (P<0.005). Levels of factual knowledge were higher; levels of attitudes moderate. Previous training was positively associated with skills (odds ratios (OR) = 3.0) and attitudes (OR = 2.7). Years of work was negatively associated with factual knowledge (OR = 0.97). Larger case-loads predicted higher scores on skills (OR = 2.1).
Training is needed, particularly for clinicians working with patients with severe mental illness.
Declaration of interest