Improving the health care of women living with domestic abuse

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AIM: To explore the healthcare experiences of women living with domestic abuse, specifically in relation to the primary care setting. METHOD: A qualitative study was undertaken in Scotland, comprising semi-structured interviews with 17 women who had experienced domestic abuse. Data were analysed using a thematic framework. FINDINGS: Three themes were linked to women's healthcare experiences: systems-based, interpersonal and psychological issues. Poor systems of communication sometimes fail abused women, and low self-esteem and fear of stigmatisation make it difficult for women to discuss abuse. CONCLUSION: Nurses in primary care settings can do much to support women who have experienced domestic abuse. Understanding the systems-based, interpersonal and psychological factors that influence women's healthcare experiences may be a vital part of this process.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalNursing Standard
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Domestic abuse, Domestic violence, Primary care