A survey study of stalking victims’ experiences of the health-related effects of stalking and their experiences of engaging with health care practitioners

Short, Emma, Hanney, Leanne, Taylor, Sam, Guppy, Andy and Barnes, James (2023) A survey study of stalking victims’ experiences of the health-related effects of stalking and their experiences of engaging with health care practitioners. Health Psychology Update, 32 (1). pp. 27-37. ISSN 0954-2027

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Abstract / Description

This study aimed to assess the impact stalking has on the physical and psychological wellbeing of survivors and their experiences of accessing of health services. To achieve this a self-assessment questionnaire was developed, circulated through social media channels and promoted on the websites of support services for people who experience stalking. There were 105 respondents to a survey, all who self-defined as being victims of stalking. Results indicated that prior to stalking events, 86% of participants reported no health issues. However, when reviewing health issues after having been stalked, 74% did report health problems. We also found that 23% of survivors experienced some physical injury as a result of being stalked. Results also indicated that while only 30% of participants reported ongoing psychological or mental health problems before stalking, this rose to 95% experiencing such difficulties following stalking events. Healthcare services were accessed due to stalking by 60% of participants and a further 8% of participants accessed the service due to domestic violence. Given the serious impact stalking can have, it is essential that victims have access to appropriate health care services. Conclusions centre around the appropriate training of Health care professionals (HCPs) to recognise when a patient might be a victim of stalking and how to provide appropriate support. Healthcare services could be tailored to the unique needs of stalking victims and be available in multiple locations, including hospitals, primary care settings, and online. Findings also indicate that HCPs also need to understand the different forms of stalking and how to respond appropriately. Additionally, it is important to provide support in terms of safety planning, providing information about legal options, and providing referrals to other appropriate services. The results are discussed in context to the current literature.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-publication version of the following article: Short Emma, Hanney Leanne, Taylor Sam, Guppy Andy, Barnes James, A survey study of stalking victims’ experiences of the health-related effects of stalking and their experiences of engaging with health care practitioners. Health Psychology Update, Vol.32, no.1, pp.27-37, available at: https://doi.org/10.53841/bpshpu.2023.32.1.27
Uncontrolled Keywords: cyberstalking, stalking, harassment, health impact, trauma, PTSD, mental health
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences
300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Emma Short
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2023 09:34
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 09:34
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/8989

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