Female genital mutilation/cutting: knowledge, attitude and training of health professionals in inner city London

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Jun;168(2):195-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Feb 21.


Objectives: To assess the knowledge, attitude and training on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) amongst medical and midwifery professionals working in an area of high prevalence of the condition.

Study design: Prospective observational study using a questionnaire designed to assess knowledge, attitude and training received by health care professionals on the practice of FGM/C. Factors which may affect knowledge, attitude and training were compared between groups.

Results: 92.9% (n=79) questionnaires were returned. All respondents were aware of FGM/C but only 27.8% correctly identified the grade from a simple diagram. Three quarters (72.4% and 77.2% respectively) were aware of the complications of FGM/C and of the legislation in the United Kingdom. Of the respondents, 13.9% agreed that a competent adult should be allowed to consent to FGM/C if requested but only 8.9% agreed that the procedure should be medicalised to reduce the associated morbidity. Less than 25% of respondents had received formal training in recognising or managing this condition.

Conclusion: Although the majority of respondents were aware of FGM/C, their ability to identify the condition and its associated morbidity remain suboptimal; more training is recommended in larger cities with a higher prevalence of this condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Circumcision, Female / adverse effects*
  • Circumcision, Female / education
  • Circumcision, Female / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Circumcision, Female / rehabilitation
  • Crime / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Crime / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Human Rights Abuses / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Human Rights Abuses / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lacerations / complications
  • Lacerations / diagnosis
  • Lacerations / etiology
  • Lacerations / physiopathology
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwifery / education
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom
  • Urban Health Services
  • Workforce
  • Wounds, Penetrating / complications
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Penetrating / etiology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / physiopathology
  • Young Adult