Objective: Throughout the world intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant issue and it is important that nurses contribute to policy development, as well as to the nursing care of families. Nurses are uniquely positioned to identify, and support women experiencing IPV. For them to contribute to policy development, they need firstly to develop a better understanding of the issue and to their role in addressing it. This study explored and compared perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of IPV of nursing students in Australia and Spain. Methods: Students from all levels of the nursing programs in both countries participated in focus groups and a follow up survey exploring their understanding of, and attitudes towards IPV. The data from the focus groups was analysed thematically and the quantitative data from the survey statistically. Results: Spanish nursing students had significantly more positive/comprehensive views about the role nurses have in managing IPV, had a stronger view about the nurses’ role and that they were more prepared. Although the Australian and Spanish participants were not identical, for example, the Australian sample was predominantly female and over the age of 35, these factors do not explain why the difference. The study was only undertaken in one Australian University and one Spanish university so results cannot be generalised to either country. Conclusions: The findings suggest that there may be much more that could be done to prepare nurses to deal with issues of IPV and to take a lead role in recommending policy changes worldwide.
Journal of Nursing Education and Practice / Vol. 6, No. 12, pp.131-135