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Nursing and Midwifery Recognizing Domestic Violence

Introduction, Problem, and Purpose

The article “Are We Failing to Prepare Nursing and Midwifery Students to Deal with Domestic Abuse? Findings from a Qualitative Study” is a qualitative study conducted by Bradbury-Jones and Broadhurst (2015). This research article explores the issue of nursing and midwifery students recognizing abuse in practice. The problem of the article is stated clearly, as it argues that nursing education may be inefficient in teaching future specialists to recognize domestic abuse. The authors explain the practical significance of this study and note that domestic abuse is a serious issue and many nurses “lack confidence in recognizing and responding to [it]” (Bradbury-Jones & Broadhurst, 2015, p. 2063). The study’s purpose is to explore the extent to which students are prepared to find and deal with domestic abuse in their practice. Key terms are defined in the data gathering part of the study and are connected to the article’s purpose.

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As it is a qualitative study, there are no formulated hypotheses in it. However, the scholars present five main questions that they are investigating in the process of data gathering. The purpose of the study is outlined in these questions, including students’ understanding of the term “domestic abuse,” their experiences in recognizing it, their confidence in dealing with this issue, and their thoughts about possible changes to nursing education and importance of researching this problem (Bradbury-Jones & Broadhurst, 2015). There are no variables defined in this qualitative study.

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

The review of the literature is displayed in the background part of the article. Here, the researchers use information from various works that discuss abuse recognition training. Moreover, the history of nurses and midwives interacting with incidents of abuse is also reviewed. Some resources used in this part are outdated. Nevertheless, the authors note that this problem is not investigated well enough, which explains the lack of recent research. The review of the literature seems concise and relevant to the topic of the paper. All books and articles correlate to the problem discussed in the study, including reports about nursing education programs and their ability to teach about domestic abuse. The authors also define a theoretical framework and base it on the Spheres of Influence model. The use of this framework seems to be consistent with the study’s objectives, as it describes the concept of nursing empowerment.


The method used in the study is the interview format with an open discussion. The use of this approach is appropriate for qualitative research. Furthermore, it allows researchers to focus on the outlined questions. The method of interviews is common for qualitative studies (Kallio, Pietilä, Johnson & Kangasniemi, 2016). This methodology can be used for problems where personal experiences need to be recorded and analyzed. Nursing education is often researched by using this approach because it allows nursing students to provide their opinions (Marañón & Pera, 2015). Also, this is an original study.

Study Sample, Strategies, and Variables

The study sample, as well as its inclusion criteria, is defined and explained. Bradbury-Jones and Broadhurst (2015) interview 55 students from one university in the UK, including future nurses and midwives in their last year of the program. The authors also state that all participants were chosen with purposive sampling, all of them are female, and their age is not recorded. This sample is rather small and homogeneous. However, scholars explain that they expected to find even fewer subjects. The issue of the all-female sample is not addressed, but one can assume that the university did not have many male students who wanted to participate. This sample may be representative of nursing and midwifery students, as it is a very narrow part of the population. The recruitment process is described. All participants gave their written consent, were able to choose the way of information gathering, and were protected from harm.

Reliability, Significance, Measurement Tools, and Validity

The validity of findings is supported by the fact that the researchers present direct quotes from participants on every discussed issue. They try to represent the views of students and remove all potential biases with group checking and consistent use of quotes (Noble & Smith, 2015). The reliability of the study is also high, as the researchers base their arguments on the words of participants and acknowledge their possible biases. The confirmability of the study is questionable as there is no similar research conducted by other scholars. However, some of the findings can be supported by other studies. For instance, Bradbury-Jones, Taylor, Kroll, and Duncan (2014) find that experienced medical professionals also can recognize abuse but are not confident enough to approach the issue. The problems of nursing education are also noted in the study by Westin, Sundler, and Berglund (2015), who remarks that students need more practical experience and courage to deal with complex situations.

Data Analysis, Limitations, and Implications for Practice

The analysis of this qualitative data reveals that most midwives are more trained to deal with the abuse than nurses. However, the confidence of all students is low due to the lack of experience. As there is no statistical analysis, the authors focus on the descriptive interpretation of the data. The findings answer all posed questions and reveal such problems as insufficient practice and the lack of useful training. The authors acknowledge such limitations of the study as its small sample and a general framework.

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Conclusion and Usage

The study’s implications for practice are based on the gathered data. The authors outline the need to research ways to improve nursing education and raise students’ confidence. The conclusion briefly describes the article. All in all, this study seems to offer viable findings and can be used in practice, although its transferability may be limited due to a limited sampling size. Nevertheless, it explains each step of the research process and shows transparent data collection and thorough analysis.


Bradbury-Jones, C., & Broadhurst, K. (2015). Are we failing to prepare nursing and midwifery students to deal with domestic abuse? Findings from a qualitative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(9), 2062-2072.

Bradbury‐Jones, C., Taylor, J., Kroll, T., & Duncan, F. (2014). Domestic abuse awareness and recognition among primary healthcare professionals and abused women: a qualitative investigation. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23(21-22), 3057-3068.

Kallio, H., Pietilä, A. M., Johnson, M., & Kangasniemi, M. (2016). Systematic methodological review: Developing a framework for a qualitative semi-structured interview guide. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(12), 2954-2965.

Marañón, A., & Pera, I. (2015). Theory and practice in the construction of professional identity in nursing students: A qualitative study. Nurse Education Today, 35(7), 859-863.

Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence Based Nursing, 18(2), 34-35.

Westin, L., Sundler, A. J., & Berglund, M. (2015). Students’ experiences of learning in relation to didactic strategies during the first year of a nursing programme: A qualitative study. BMC Medical Education, 15(1), 49.

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