Feasibility of Participatory Theater Workshops to Increase Staff Awareness of and Readiness to Respond to Abuse in Health Care: A Qualitative Study of a Pilot Intervention Using Forum Play among Sri Lankan Health Care Providers
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020, 17 (20), . https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207698
Women globally experience mistreatment by health providers during childbirth. Researchers have identified strategies to counteract this type of abuse in health care, but few have been evaluated. We used a theater technique, Forum Play, in a brief training intervention to increase awareness of abuse in health care and promote taking action to reduce or prevent it. The intervention was implemented in four workshops with 50 participating physicians and nurses from three hospitals in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This article reports the views of 23 workshop participants who also took part in four focus group discussions on the acceptability and feasibility of the method. The participants reported that the intervention method stimulated dialogue and critical reflection and increased their awareness of the everyday nature of abuses experienced by patients. Participants appreciated the participatory format of Forum Play, which allowed them to re-enact scenarios they had experienced and rehearse realistic actions to improve patient care in these situations. Structural factors were reported as limitations to the effectiveness of the intervention, including under-developed systems for protecting patient rights and reporting health provider abuses. Nonetheless, the study indicates the acceptability and feasibility of a theater-based training intervention for reducing the mistreatment of patients by health care providers in Sri Lanka.