Online Program

Talking with healthcare providers about intimate partner violence: Perspectives of women primary care patients

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Melissa Dichter, MSW, Ph.D, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Increasingly, professional associations are recommending that healthcare providers (HCPs) screen women for experience of intimate partner violence (IPV). Questions remain, however, about patients' experiences with, and perspectives on, talking with HCPs about IPV. In face-to-face interviews, we asked 249 women patients, age 18-64, receiving care at a VA medical center about: a) their experiences with HCPs asking about IPV and telling HCPs about IPV; b) their perspectives on effective ways of screening for IPV in the healthcare setting; and c) barriers and facilitators to disclosing IPV to HCPs. 55% of the participants said that a HCP had asked them about “safety, violence, or stress in relationships”; 27% said that they had told a HCP about relationship violence or safety concerns. Rates of asking and telling about IPV were highest with encounters with mental health providers, followed by primary care providers and gynecologists. The majority of participants (83%) said that they think HCPs should ask patients about IPV; 6% said HCPs should not ask, and 11% said that they were not sure if HCPs should ask, or that it depends on visit characteristics (e.g., purpose of visit), patient characteristics (e.g., presence of risk factors, bruises), and/or provider characteristics (e.g., sensitive and professional demeanor). Participants' perspectives on what has and has not worked well for them and ways that they think healthcare settings could support women who are experiencing, or have experienced, violence in relationships, hold implications for design and implementation of IPV screening and response protocols in healthcare settings.

Learning Areas:

Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe three characteristics of healthcare encounters that patients state would facilitate their talking with healthcare providers about intimate partner violence.

Keyword(s): Domestic Violence, Patient Perspective

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PhD-level researcher with expertise in the topic of intimate partner violence and health services. I am the Principal Investigator on the project from which this research is developed and have conducted multiple research projects, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed scientific publications.
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.