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Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of IPV, and its determinants among Female nursing students in Abakaliki, southeast Nigeria

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posted on 25.01.2021, 23:58 by Chidebe Anikwe, Bartholomew Chukwunonye Okorochukwu, Helen Ifenyinwa Anikwe, Christian Okechukwu Ogah, Cyril Ikeoha

A cross-sectional study was performed in the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, between 1st March 2018 and 31st August 2018. Data were obtained using a structured questionnaire and a Composite abuse scale in 460 females.

Study setting

The study was carried out in the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki. This is the only specialist teaching hospital in the state, receiving referrals from private and mission hospitals in the state and neighboring states. It is sited in Abakaliki, the state capital. It has a nursing and midwifery school for the training of qualified nurses and midwives. Apart from been a center of teaching and learning, it provides 24/7 medical services via the emergency/general outpatient department and specialized units.

Study population

The study population was female nursing students of Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki meeting the inclusion criteria. They were consenting females who were not pregnant and were in an intimate partner relationship for the past 12 months. Those who refused to consent, were sick, or who were not in an intimate partner relationship for the past 12 months were excluded. A simple random sampling method was used to select respondents. They were interviewed between January 2018 and May 2018 in a dedicated office for the study. They were interviewed using a structured questionnaire and the Composite Abuse Scale (CAS) version 2013 (Hegarty, 2005). The questionnaire was completed based on their responses. The social class of the study population was determined based on the social class classification of Olusanya et al. (Olusanya & Okpere, 1985), which uses the educational level of the woman and the occupation of the husband to determine a woman’s social class. The social class of the study participants who were not married was based on that of their parent. They were graded into social classes 1 to 5: social classes 1 and 2 were classified as upper social class while social classes 3, 4, and 5 were classified as lower social class. IPV was defined as actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, or stalking abuse by an intimate partner, while an intimate partner was defined as a current or former spouse or non-marital partner such as a boyfriend or dating partner (Basile, 2007).

Sample size

The sample size was calculated using the formula for a cross-sectional study (N= Z2 PQ/D2), where N = required sample size, Z = 1.96 at a confidence level at 95%, P = an estimated population of 44.6% (Esere, 2009), D = margin of error at 5%, and Q = 1-P. The sample size for the study was 460 after the addition of a 20% attrition rate.

Ethical considerations

Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Health Research and Ethics Committee of Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state. The ethical approval number was REC APPROVAL NUMBER 14/11/2017-19/12/2017.

Composite abuse scale (CAS)

CAS is an easily administered self-report measure that provides standardized subscale scores on four dimensions of intimate partner abuse. It consists of 30 items presented in a six-point format requiring respondents to answer “never”, “only once”, “several times”, “monthly”, “weekly”, or “daily” in twelve months. It assesses the following: severe combined abuse factor, emotional abuse factor, physical abuse factor, and the harassment factor. The CAS is made up of 4 subscales: severe combined abuse (SCA; 8 items, possible score 0-40); physical abuse (7 items, possible score 0-35); emotional abuse (11 items, possible score 0-55), and harassment (4 items, possible score 0-20). The subscale score was calculated and compared with a predetermined cut-off score for each subscale as shown below to determine whether they has suffered that abuse. A subscale score greater than the set score would determine that the respondent had experienced such abuse. The respondent was judged to have suffered an abuse if the overall total score was 7 and above.

Data analysis

The data obtained were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics 20 software (IBM Corp., Chicago, IL). Frequency tables, the chi-squared test (X2), and logistic regression analysis were used for categorical variables where applicable. The student’s age (≤20 or > 20 years), marital status (married or single), year of education (≤ 3 or > 3 years), and social class (1 and 2, upper social class; 3, 4 and 5, lower social class) were reclassified for easy analysis. The partner’s characteristics were also reclassified into ≤ 30 years and > 30 years. The test of significance was at a p-value < 0.05.


Funding is borne by the authors. No funding was received by the author for the conduct of this study.


Declaration of conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Corresponding author email

Lead author country


Lead author job role


Lead author institution

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, P.M.B 102 Abakaliki, Ebonyi state. West Africa, Nigeria.

Human Participants


Ethics statement

Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the Health Research and Ethics Committee of the hospital. Informed written consent was obtained from the study population.



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