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Attitude towards rape among doctors working in the emergency department

, : Attitude towards rape among doctors working in the emergency department. European Journal of Emergency Medicine 9(2): 123-126

In this study, a 29-item questionnaire survey was conducted to explore the attitude and knowledge toward rape amongst doctors working in Hong Kong. The Likert scale was used for questions on attitude and knowledge. A composite score was computed for both attitude and knowledge. Comparisons of the attitude and knowledge scores were made between doctors of different genders and ranks. Existing practices in the handling of rape cases were also explored. The response rate was 58%; 175 questionnaires were completed by 147 (84%) male and 28 (16%) female doctors. There were 12 (6.3%) consultants, 44 (23%) senior medical officers and 119 (62%) medical officers. The average length of emergency department experience was 4.7 years. Most doctors held a favourable attitude towards rape victims, and there was no significant difference between senior and junior doctors (P=0.062) or between doctors of different genders (P=0.793). However, 36% of the doctors agreed that 'a women should be responsible for preventing her own rape', and more female doctors agreed that 'a woman can successfully resist rape if she tries hard enough' (P<0.042). Senior doctors had a higher knowledge score (P<0.0001). The correlation between knowledge and attitude scores was low (Spearman coefficient 0.258; P<0.05). In conclusion, doctors working in the emergency department generally held favourable attitudes towards rape victims. However, there is still room for improvements in attitude and knowledge. A one-stop service is suggested to avoid fragmentation and prevent 'revictimization'.


PMID: 12131633

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