Registered nurses' self-efficacy for assessing and responding to woman abuse in emergency department settings

Erin Hollingsworth, Marilyn Ford-Gilboe
Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 2006, 38 (4): 54-77
Enhanced knowledge regarding the factors that influence and support the self-efficacy of emergency department (ED) registered nurses and their provision of care to women who have experienced abuse is necessary for the promotion of optimal health care. The purpose of this study was to examine the self-efficacy of registered nurses with respect to assessing and responding to woman abuse in the ED. Study hypotheses and research questions were derived from Bandura's theory of self-efficacy. A secondary analysis (N = 158) of data from the Violence against Women: Health Care Provider Survey was completed. Originally, survey questions were not developed to operationalize the concepts outlined by Bandura. However, they were found to be good indicators. Four scales were developed from the item pool, validated through factor analysis and used to operationalize study variables. Positive relationships were found between self-efficacy information available to ED registered nurses and their self-efficacy for assessing and responding to woman abuse (r= .73, p < .001), self-efficacy expectations, and actual clinical responses related to woman abuse (r= .55, p < .001) and outcome expectancies related to assessing and responding to woman abuse (r = .56, p < .001). Hierarchical multiple regression examined the extent to which self-efficacy information, self-efficacy expectations and outcome expectancies predicted ED registered nurses' clinical responses to woman abuse. Overall, the model explained 40% of the variance in ED registered nurses' clinical responses to woman abuse. Results provide additional support for Bandura's theory and demonstrate that the clinical responses of ED registered nurses are complex and must be understood in terms of self-efficacy and the factors that support its development.

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