Inclusion of intimate partner violence-related content within undergraduate health care professional curriculum: mixed methods study of academics’ attitudes and beliefs

Renee Lovi, Marie Hutchinson, John Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Undergraduate preparation is important in ensuring health care professionals are prepared to identify and respond to intimate partner violence (IPV). Previous studies confirm this education is highly variable and IPV-related content remains marginalised in undergraduate nursing, midwifery and paramedicine curricula. Aim: To investigate frontline academics’ attitudes and beliefs in relation to the inclusion of IPV-related content in the aforementioned degrees. Design: A large multi-phase mixed methods Australian case study of Australian undergraduate nursing, midwifery and paramedicine degrees. In this paper, components of the survey and interviews from this study will be reported on. Methods: Quantitative comparative analysis of a 51-item on-line survey and qualitative thematic analysis of guided conversational interviews. Results: Across Australian universities IPV remains poorly embedded in nursing, midwifery and paramedicine programmes. Academics report a range of barriers to such inclusion, including an already overcrowded curriculum, a lack of confident and competent academics to teach this content area and a lack of support for this content inclusion. One factor statistically significant in its association with non-inclusion of IPV-related content was academic attitudes of professional role resistance. Gender was also identified as a significant factor associated with non-inclusion and resistant professional attitudes. Qualitative interviews revealed that only six of the 18 participants identified IPV-related care as within their scope of practice, with professional role resistance a common theme identified. Conclusion: Though professional organisation and policy makers now advocate for the inclusion of IPV-related content in the undergraduate preparation of nurses and midwives, work remains to address gendered and resistant attitudes amongst academics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-602
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • attitude
  • case study
  • curriculum
  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • nurse midwives
  • professional role
  • universities

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