Intimate partner violence among undergraduate student nurses at a tertiary institution in the Western Cape
Kordom, Ashley Gurshin
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Intimate partner violence (IPV), a form of gender-based violence (GBV), has become one of the emerging serious public health issues. It affects all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and religious groups. Internationally, IPV has also become an increasingly common phenomenon among students at tertiary institutions. In South Africa, there is a paucity of literature that investigates this phenomenon especially among undergraduate student nurses who are supposed to render care to survivors of IPV. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of IPV and factors associated with IPV among undergraduate student nurses at a tertiary institution in the Western Cape.A quantitative, descriptive study was conducted. An adapted version of the WHO’s instrument designed to measure partner violence was used to collect the data. This questionnaire was administered to the eligible respondents after lecture time. The total population consisted of 984 undergraduate student nurses. The printed class lists of the 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-year undergraduate student nurses were used as the sample frame. Stratified random sampling method was used to obtain a sample of 243 respondents to ensure that the sample size was representative of the population. The completed questionnaires were analysed quantitatively by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. The results are presented in the form of tables, pie chart and graphs. Spearman’s correlations were used to calculate the strength of the relationship between the dependent variables. Multivariate analysis was done using the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis test to determine the associations between the different variables.The results from the study showed that 42% of undergraduate student nurses experienced IPV during their lifetime. The socio-demographic factors associated with IPV were age (p=0.009*), study year level (p=0.001*) and marital status (p=0.021*). The study also found that family history factors like the respondent’s mother’s educational status (p=0.005*), financial support during need (p=0.031*) and witnessing of abuse as a child (p=0.008*) were factors related to IPV. In this study, certain substance use factors such as dagga (p=0.004) and cigarette smoking (p=0.000*), alcohol use in their lifetime (p=0.000*), time elapsed since joining university(p=0.000*) and having male or female friends who drink (p=0.000*) were significantly associated with IPV. The study highlighted the need to raise awareness on IPV among undergraduate student nurses.