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Open AccessArticle

Can Forum Play Contribute to Counteracting Abuse in Health Care? A Pilot Intervention Study in Sri Lanka

1
Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Hus Vita, S-391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
2
Jönköping’s County Hospital Ryhov, Women’s Clinic, S-55185 Jönköping, Sweden
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Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda 10250, Sri Lanka
4
Dramapedagogbyrån, S-135 43 Tyresö, Sweden
5
Department of Public Health and Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Postboks 8905, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091616
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Reproductive and Maternal Health)
Obstetric violence refers to the mistreatment of women in pregnancy and childbirth care by their health providers. It is linked to poor quality of care, lack of trust in health systems, and adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. Evidence of interventions to reduce and prevent obstetric violence is limited. We developed a training intervention using a participatory theatre technique called Forum Play inspired by the Theatre of the Oppressed for health providers in Sri Lanka. This paper assesses the potential of the training method to increase staff awareness of obstetric violence and promote taking action to reduce or prevent it. We conducted four workshops with 20 physicians and 30 nurses working in three hospitals in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Participants completed a questionnaire before and three-to-four months after the intervention. At follow-up, participants more often reported that they had been involved in situations of obstetric violence, indicating new knowledge of the phenomenon and/or an increase in their ability to conceptualise it. The intervention appears promising for improving the abilities of health care providers to recognise obstetric violence, the first step in counteracting it. The study demonstrates the value of developing further studies to assess the longitudinal impacts of theatre-based training interventions to reduce obstetric violence and, ultimately, improve patient care. View Full-Text
Keywords: maternal and reproductive health services; quality of care; dignity and respect; abuse in health care; obstetric violence; intervention science; participatory theatre; Theatre of the Oppressed maternal and reproductive health services; quality of care; dignity and respect; abuse in health care; obstetric violence; intervention science; participatory theatre; Theatre of the Oppressed
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Swahnberg, K.; Zbikowski, A.; Wijewardene, K.; Josephson, A.; Khadka, P.; Jeyakumaran, D.; Mambulage, U.; Infanti, J.J. Can Forum Play Contribute to Counteracting Abuse in Health Care? A Pilot Intervention Study in Sri Lanka. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1616.

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