Disclosure of domestic violence and sexual assault within the context of abortion: meta-ethnographic synthesis of qualitative studies protocol
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Background: One third of women will have an abortion in their lifetime (Kerr, QUT Law Rev 14:15, 2014; Aston and Bewley, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 11:163–8, 2009). These women are more likely to have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault than women who continue with their pregnancies. Frontline health personnel involved in the care of women seeking abortions are uniquely positioned to support patients who choose to disclose their violence. Yet, the disclosure of domestic violence or sexual assault within the context of abortion is not well understood. To enhance service provision, it is important to understand the disclosure experience, that is, how frontline health personnel manage such disclosures and how victims/survivors perceive this experience. This review aims to provide a systematic synthesis of qualitative literature to increase understanding of the phenomena and identify research gaps. Methods: A meta-ethnography of qualitative evidence following PRISMA-P recommendations for reporting systematic reviews will be performed to better understand the experiences of domestic violence and sexual assault disclosure from the perspective of frontline health personnel providing support and women seeking an abortion. A three-stage search strategy including database searching, citation searching and Traditional Pearl Growing will be applied starting with the terms “domestic violence”, “sexual assault”, “disclosure” and “abortion”, their common synonyms and MeSH terms. The database search will include CINAHL, MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO. Published studies from 1970, written in English and from all countries will be included. Two reviewers will screen titles and abstracts and if suitable will then perform a full-text review. To attribute weight to each study, two reviewers will perform the critical appraisal using a modified version of the “Guidelines for Extracting Data and Quality Assessing Primary Studies in Educational Research”. Data extraction and coding will occur using EPPI-Reviewer 4 and will be carried out by two reviewers. Discussion: The reviewers will illuminate what transpires at the interface when women seeking an abortion in the context of domestic violence and sexual assault meet frontline health personnel. Increased knowledge in this area will improve the frontline health personnel’s practices and responsiveness to women who seek out healthcare in the context of violence.
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Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified