Two academics from our Centre, Professor Angela Taft and Dr Lisa Amir, had their work published on the same day on the front page of British Medical Journal.
Intimate partner violence
Angela's article focused on examining the effectiveness of screening women for intimate partner violence (IPV) in healthcare settings.
Angela's research looked at whether or not screening increased identification and referral to support agencies, improved women's wellbeing, decreased further violence, or caused harm.
IPV is a major cause of death and disability across the world
IPV is a major cause of death and disability across the world, with one in three women globally experiencing physical and/or sexual violence from a partner and while rates differ in low, middle, and high income regions, the health effects are devastatingly similar. Women experiencing such violence often present in health settings and require wide ranging medical services.
However, many clinicians often lack the skills to identify and respond to them. This is generally not because of an unwillingness to do so, but because of a lack of appropriate training and insufficient resources and referral options available.
Angela's research showed that though screening is likely to increase identification of intimate partner violence in healthcare settings, it is uncertain whether screening increased effective referral to supportive agencies.
She concludes that studies comparing screening versus case finding, or screening in combination with therapeutic intervention for women's long term wellbeing, are needed to inform the implementation of identification policies in healthcare settings.
Best ways to manage breastfeeding problems
Lisa Amir's educational article was based on current evidence looking at best ways to manage breastfeeding problems in the community.
Lisa argues there needs to be better support for women both in the community and medical settings to encourage sustained breastfeeding of their infants.
Common breastfeeding problems
The two most common problems faced by breastfeeding women are nipple and breast pain and low (or perceived low) milk supply. About 30% of women experience at least one breastfeeding problem at two weeks post partum, and many will seek help from their general practitioner or other health professional.
Lisa Amir's work provides medical practitioners with latest evidence on how to manage issues associated with breastfeeding.
For example, women experiencing nipple pain should be referred to a local infant feeding expert to ensure optimal attachment of the baby to the breast. In addition to nipple pain and damage from poor attachment, pain may be caused by anatomical problems, such as infant tongue-tie, maternal infection or dermatitis.
Breastfeeding rates are lowest in groups most at risk of ill health, such as preterm babies, amongst young mothers, the obese and those from lower economic backgrounds.
Congratulations, Angela and Lisa!