Knowledge, Attitude, Preparedness and Behavior of Nurses Towards Intimate Partner Violence in Mental Health Settings

  • Charmaine Micallef Department of Mental Health, University of Malta, Malta
  • Alexei Sammut Department of Mental Health, University of Malta, Malta
  • Paulann Grech Department of Mental Health, University of Malta, Malta
Keywords: intimate partner violence, nurses, mental health, domestic violence


Various studies have explored healthcare professionals’ knowledge, attitudes and preparedness towards intimate partner violence (IPV). However, there is a dearth of research, which focuses on nurses working in mental health settings. This study explored the knowledge and preparedness of nurses working in mental health settings to identify and manage IPV. The hypothesis developed for this study was: nurses have negative perceptions towards the management of IPV; and demographic characteristics influence the nurses’ perceptions towards IPV. A cross-sectional quantitative survey design was used. One hundred and nine nurses working within the acute in-patient and community mental health setting completed the Physicians Readiness to Manage Intimate Partner Violence Survey (PREMIS). The results of the study show that the participants lack competence in identifying potential victimized individuals and may not feel adequately prepared and knowledgeable to address IPV in their practice. However, they are willing to manage IPV and have identified the need of more competence in the area. These findings are similar to literature which involved populations other than nurses who work in mental health settings. Nurses in mental health settings need training on how to identify and manage IPV cases. Mixed methods research in this area is also recommended.


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Definition of scales/subscales of the PREMIS