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Helping or heightening vulnerability? Midwives as arbiters of risk for women experiencing self-directed violence in urban Sri Lanka

Palfreyman, Alexis (2018) Helping or heightening vulnerability? Midwives as arbiters of risk for women experiencing self-directed violence in urban Sri Lanka. Qualitative Health Research, 29 (10). pp. 1383-1394. ISSN 1049-7323

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1049732318816672

Abstract

The response of midwives to women engaging in self-directed violence (SDV) may affect women’s care and outcomes. The author explored midwives’ understanding of SDV through semi-structured focus groups and in-depth interviews with 11 Public Health Midwives in urban Sri Lanka. Thematic analysis identified four key themes: (a) perceived dimensions of women’s risk and vulnerability to SDV, (b) midwives as arbiters of risk, (c) representations of women engaging in SDV, and (d) midwives’ perceived capacity to respond. Given their proximity to communities, trustworthiness as sites of disclosure, and respectability as women and guardians of ideal womanhood in Sri Lankan society, midwives occupy a powerful position in the health system through which to alleviate or reinforce women’s risk to SDV. Yet, investment in developing their skills and role to respond to the growing phenomenon of SDV among women in Sri Lanka must consider the context within which midwives assess and select their responses.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/qhr
Additional Information: © 2018 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2018 14:26
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 01:34
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/90586

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