Being heard key for women after gender-based violence

September 13, 2017

(HealthDay)—For women who have experienced gender-based violence, feelings of being listened to and respected are important for defining a positive health care encounter, according to research published online Aug. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Inger Wallin Lundell, R.N., Ph.D., from Linköping University in Sweden, and colleagues describe encounters with health care professionals for in Mexico who had experienced gender-based violence. Seven women underwent face-to-face interviews. The interviews were analyzed with inductive content analysis.

The researchers identified four categories in the analyses: feelings of guilt about being abused; feelings of being unimportant; feelings of taking up time; and of being insecure. The importance of health care professionals taking time out of their busy schedules for women was emphasized. Women felt secure when treated with respect and genuine interest. Feelings of frustration and mistrust were elicited when the health care professionals did not meet these expectations.

"Feelings of being listened to and safety were considered important aspects in a positive encounter, whereas feeling a lack of time or interest often led to negative experiences such as frustration with and distrust of the health care system," the authors write. "These results imply that may have deficiencies with regard to how these women are treated because these women do not feel that they receive the proper support."

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