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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Emergency health care providers’ perspectives on providing care to racialized immigrant women experiencing intimate partner violence Mattu, Beljinder


Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) can impact all Canadian women regardless of socioeconomic status, race, age, or ethnicity. In Canada, prevalence rates are estimated to be 6% to 8%, but many experts argue that rates may be even higher. As well, racialized immigrant women experiencing IPV are likely to face interpersonal and structural barriers to care when accessing services and engaging with health care providers (HCPs). To date, research focusing on emergency department (ED) health care professionals’ perspectives and experiences caring for racialized immigrant women experiencing IPV has been limited. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and better understand ED HCPs’ perspectives on providing care for racialized immigrant women experiencing IPV. The research was conducted at a large urban hospital located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (BC). A significant percentage of the population that the hospital serves are foreign-born immigrants originating from India and are of Punjabi-Sikh descent. Given this demographic, it is highly likely that HCPs have cared for Punjabi-Sikh women in the ED. Method: This study used a qualitative descriptive research design. Cultural safety was the theoretical framework used in this study. A convenience sampling approach was used to recruit 5 HCPs. The HCPs consisted of ED nurses, forensic nurses, and social workers who were primarily employed in the ED. This study used individual interviews and a thematic approach to analysis. Findings: The provision of adequate care to racialized immigrant women with IPV issues in the ED was hindered by several issues including the absence of resources, HCPs’ biases, lack of privacy in the ED, long waiting hours, and a lack of time to deal with IPV cases. The study also suggested that ED nurses had to identify IPV cases amongst racialized immigrant women. Implications: Future research should focus on the availability of information and training of ED HCPs to improve care provision for racialized immigrant women. This study also proposed that evidence-based research could help with understanding the unique IPV problems faced by racialized immigrant women, and help to facilitate the provision of efficient care in the ED.

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