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Title: The health visitors' response to family violence and abuse : A grounded theory study
Author: Carroll, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 6031
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2011
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Background: Whilst there are examples of good practice and models of care currently being delivered by health visitors in Northern Ireland to families where there is, or has been, family violence and abuse, current audits indicate that there is variation in the quality of health visiting service delivered to victims, perpetrators and onlookers of family violence and abuse. The study: This study generated a practice theory from findings that emerged from an investigation into victim, perpetrator and onlooker respondents’ perceptions of needs when enduring the lived experience of family violence and abuse. Method: Qualitative research using a grounded theory approach was employed. Sample: Volunteers were recruited from local newspapers. Theoretical sampling was used until saturation of categories materialized. The sample comprised victim (n=13), perpetrator (n=1) and onlooker respondents (n=2) making a total of (n=16). Findings: A total of 21 key categories were identified in this study. Within causal conditions the categories which emerged were: competing emotions; developing roles of victims, perpetrators and onlookers; influences on abuse; barriers to disclosure; tolerance to violence; client-professional relationships. Six categories emerged from the context: the dynamics among adults and children; motivation to change; the realization of grave danger; from decision making to planning to action; and the aftermath. The intervening conditions generated three categories: - health visitors’ attitude to families; support systems versus barriers to care and protection; and health visitors’ knowledge and skills in relation to family violence and abuse. Four categories were generated in action – interaction strategies. They were: facing fears; trust versus mistrust; a felt sense of relief about the situation, and moving on. Emergent categories from consequences were: decision-making during recovery, decision-making for the future and growth and development. Recommendations: Findings from the study include the recommendation for health visitors to engage with families in order to identify those families who have suffered family violence and abuse and accurately assess each family member’s needs and aspirations. Therapeutic programmes of care need to be designed and implemented to meet these individual’s unique needs. A compilation of the findings demonstrates that members of society would need to be educated regarding the signs and symptoms of family violence and abuse and provided with information on where to go to get help. Further research relating to the health and wellbeing needs and aspiration of victims, perpetrators and onlookers of family violence and abuse is recommended.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available