197434 Social health risks of public health department staff are comparable to those of their patients

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:50 PM

Mira Gohel, MD , Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Health Care Center #3, Philadelphia, RI
Karin Rhodes , Department of Emergency Medicine School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Rationale: Urban public health patients are known to have high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) and other psychosocial health risks, but less is know about the social health concerns of the healthcare staff charged with taking care of them.

Setting: Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH)-operated FQHC look-alike Health Care Centers

Methods: With a goal of introducing a new patient social health survey into practice, PDPH staff (clerks, nurses, technicians, and physicians) were asked to anonymously complete the survey. Their social health risks were then compared to those of a convenience sample of patients who completed the surveys as part of an acceptability and feasibility study.

Results: 217 patients and 222 staff voluntarily completed the survey. Staff disclosed risk of IPV at rates that overall exceeded that of their patients (35% vs. 28%). Patients were slightly more likely than staff (21% vs. 17%) to be at risk for IPV victimization and staff were more likely than patients (26% vs. 15%) to disclose risk of IPV perpetration. Compared to staff who screened negative, staff who screened positive for any IPV risk were more likely to report other adverse behavioral health risks: problem drinking (16% vs. 3%), symptoms of current depression (22% vs. 6%), and lack of social support (43% vs. 19%).

Conclusion: IPV training designed to improve healthcare response to patient IPV might be more effective if workplace interventions were in place to provide safe, confidential opportunities for healthcare employees to disclose and address their own IPV and psychosocial risks.

Learning Objectives:
1. Compare the social health risks of public health department staff and their patients using a written survey. 2.Demonstrate the utility of knowing health care center staffs'intimate partener violence (IPV) and psychosocial health risks.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Community Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the co-investigator for this study. additional biographical information: I am an academically trained family physician. I am currently the Clinical Director at Health Care Center #3, one of 8 ambulatory health centers run by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH). I am also a consultant for the Institute for Safe Familes (ISF), a non-profit organization whose goal is to end family violence. ISF developed the inital RADAR protocol to identify IPV in the healthcare setting. I was instrumental in developing and implementing department-wide policy and procedure for screening and intervention for IPV i the Health Care Centers of the PDPH. I have taught and presented extensively on the topic of IPV in the healthcare setting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.