Gender-based violence: A five country, cross-sectional survey of health and social care students’ experience, knowledge and confidence in dealing with the issue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Kelsey Hegarty
  • Svetlana Kishchenko
  • Jacqueline Kuruppu
  • Clare McFeely
  • Julie McGarry
  • Janie Sheridan

Colleges, School and Institutes


Health and social care professionals are well placed to identify and respond to those affected by gender-based violence; yet students across a range of health disciplines describe a lack of knowledge, preparation and confidence in dealing with the issue. Our study aimed to explore health and social care students’ perceptions of their own knowledge and confidence on the subject of gender-based violence, recollections of gender-based violence learning opportunities through university and clinical placements, and opinions about the content of future e-learning curricula on the subject. We designed and implemented a multinational, cross-sectional survey across six universities from five countries: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and Scotland. Responses were obtained from 377 students across seven health and social care disciplines. Principally, the study found that students were underprepared in their professional programmes in terms of dealing with gender-based violence. Many students had witnessed or heard about cases of gender-based violence on clinical placement, but reported feeling generally unconfident in dealing with the issue. Regarding future e-learning, students indicated that content should be inclusive and relate directly to clinical practice. We argue that there is a universal need for health care education programmes to include the issue of gender-based violence in curricula.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-147
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Gender-Based Violence
Issue number1
Early online date22 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • gender-based violence, health, social care, students, survey