University of Sheffield lecturer helps victims via board game

University of Sheffield lecturer helps victims via board game

 August 20, 2019

Women at the University of Sheffield do truly amazing work. One example is Dr Parveen Ali, Senior Lecturer and Lead at the University of Sheffield Interpersonal Violence Research Group at the School of Nursing and Midwifery. 

Parveen has developed a training aid to help healthcare professionals support victims of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). The training aid takes the form of an interactive board game, created with Focus Games, which health and social care professionals can use to enhance their training and creatively explore ways to support those in their care.

Parveen says: “The Domestic Abuse Training Game will help health and social care professionals understand the impact and effects of DVA on victims and their families, and facilitate discussion about how victims and survivors of DVA can be supported by professionals in various settings.”

A driving force behind the development of an important product

Parveen's research into domestic abuse at the University of Sheffield Interpersonal Violence Research Group and her work with frontline healthcare professionals and victims of DVA was the driving force behind the development of the game.

“DVA is a major public health and social issue that affects people of every gender, sexuality, community, culture and country, and according to last year’s Crime Survey for England and Wales, an estimated two million adults aged 16 to 59 years have been a victim,” says Parveen.

“We know that healthcare professionals can feel unprepared and lack confidence to ask questions when it comes to approaching topics like DVA with patients. So getting students and practitioners to engage with the topic, explore their own attitudes, build an awareness of cultural sensitivities needed when approaching patients and build skills to communicate effectively with vulnerable adults will improve the quality of service provided in the long-term.”

University of Sheffield domestic violence abuse board game

Facilitating healthcare discussion and helping the wider community 

The board game structure to the training aid, which has been piloted with University of Sheffield students, is to facilitate independent discussion by two teams of trainee healthcare professionals, so they can learn from each other and share best practice from across a range of clinical environments. It will be used at the University to enhance the training of student nurses and healthcare professionals and is commercially available to buy through Focus Games.

“The symptoms of DVA can be hard to spot, but they have severe physical and psychological consequences for victims. Healthcare professionals, such as nurses and midwives play a crucial role in identifying, preventing and management of DVA in the community, so it's vital that the education and training we offer is effective to equip them to support those in their care,” adds Parveen.

Parveen says the game has the potential to reach a much wider audience and be of great value to staff working in other frontline professions which have contact with victims of DVA. This could include social workers, those working in education, law enforcement or the charity sector.

She concludes: “The launch of our new training aid is a really good example of how we mobilise research within and outside the University. We use our research findings to create resources and tools for healthcare professionals, which will have a direct impact on patients.”

Do inspirational work like Parveen at the University of Sheffield

Do you want to be part of a university which is changing lives through amazing research? There are many exciting opportunities across a host of academic and support roles at The University of Sheffield. 

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