“Qualified but not competent enough”: Health workers’ assessment of their competence in relation to caring for sexually abused women in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Berthollet Bwira Kaboru, Catrin Borneskog, Annsofie Adolfsson, Edmond Ntabe Namegabe, Gunnel Andersson


The aim of this study was to assess health professionals’ opinions of their competence levels in responding to health needs of victims of sexual violence. This study used a cross-sectional design with a descriptive approach. A total of 104 physicians, nurses and social workers participated in the study. The data was collected using a questionnaire consisting of open and close-ended questions.  Overall, 75% of the respondents were university graduates, but only a quarter of them felt they have adequate competence to care for these women; 36% had difficulties with general health assessment of assaulted women. The results indicated that nurses are critical professionals in caring for victims of sexual violence, that they see these women more than any other professional category. However, they are more likely than other categories to report being incompetent. Access to continued education was difficult, and more so for clinically-oriented health professionals than for others social professionals. Human resources capacity strengthening and particularly that of nurses will be the key investment in addressing assaulted women’s health needs in this region. Clinical researchers are called to identify rapid methods to reinforce nurses’ capacity and role in such a context with deprived health systems.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v5n8p26

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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