197526 Provider attitudes about intimate partner violence screening in a reproductive health care setting

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:47 AM

Gabriela Santana Betancourt, MA, MPH , Dept of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Planned Parenthood New York City, New York, NY
Lisa Colarossi, PhD , Planned Parenthood of New York City, New York, NY
Vicki Breitbart, MSW, EdD , Dept of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Planned Parenthood New York City, New York, NY
Intimate partner violence (IPV) screening in health care settings is widely recommended, and a number of different screening tools and staff procedures are used across hospital and primary care settings. However, health care providers gather a variety of health information from patients in a single visit, and adding IPV assessment procedures may feel unnecessary or time consuming, resulting in low identification rates. Alternately, some providers see IPV screening as essential to good practice. This study describes attitudes and barriers of clinic staff about the use of an IPV screening tool and follow-up protocol at three urban, reproductive health care centers. The study employed a mixed-method design to collect qualitative and quantitative data on provider perceptions and barriers using focus groups and surveys. Participants were 100 health clinic staff, which included advanced practice clinicians, social workers, and health care assistants. Qualitative and quantitative data are triangulated, and differences between job roles in perceptions and barriers are delineated. Results indicate that perceptions of IPV screening importance and acceptability differ by job role, including discomfort with patient disclosure, lack of knowledge about how to respond, and need for training about the associations between IPV and reproductive health outcomes. Similarities included needs for collaboration with community agencies specializing in IPV and for written materials and referrals. Finally, staff reports of patient responses to screening are described.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss an evidence based intimate partner violence (IPV) screening tool and the staff assessment and documentation protocol used in a large, urban reproductive health center. Describe health care staff attitudes about, and barriers to, IPV screening of patients, and how these differ by job role (i.e., clinicians, social workers, and health care assistants). Explain the need for on-going staff training and resource availability (e.g., written materials, referrals, etc.) to aid discussions between patients and staff. Discuss implications for partner violence screening in reproductive health care settings.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctorate degree, extensive experience in clinical settings, and several peer-reviewed publications on IPV.
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.