Staff silence about abuse in health care: An exploratory study at a Swedish women’s clinic
2014 (English)In: Clinical Ethics, ISSN 1477-7509, Vol. 9, 71-76 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
It has been well documented that patients can feel abused in health care and that many patients suffer from these experiences. Insight lacks into contributing factors behind such events. Silence surrounding the abuse has been suggested as a possible mechanism. The present study explores silence surrounding the abuse as a possible contributing factor. We have explored whether this silence is connected with the staff’s hierarchical position and with the staff’s own experiences as patients abused in health care.
Methods During January 2008, a paper questionnaire was sent to all staff members at a Swedish women’s clinic. The questionnaire included questions on sociodemography and profession and multiple questions about abuse in health care. After univariate testing, a binary logistic regression model including variables concerning profession and staff’s own experiences of abuse was built.
Results Our data show that in contrast to midwives and gynaecologists, auxiliary nurses seldom report hearing about cases of abuse in health care. Staff who themselves experienced abuse in health care as patients, so-called wounded healers, were more likely to have heard about abuse in health care during the last 12 months.
Conclusions This study suggests that a form of silence reigns over events of abuse in health care that is not randomly distributed over staff. Professional hierarchies and staff’s own experiences of abuse as patients could be considered in the design of interventions to break the silence surrounding patients’ experiences of abuse in health care.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Journals , 2014. Vol. 9, 71-76 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-116361DOI: 10.1177/1477750914546760OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-116361DiVA: diva2:798272