Missed Opportunities: IPV in Family Practice Settings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paige Hall Smith, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Background. For women experiencing partner violence, women health care visits represent opportunities for physicians and patients to address intimate partner violence (IPV), a significant health threat for women. Objectives. The objectives were to estimate rates of physician documentation of IPV in medical records; characterize IPV+ women most likely to have IPV documented; and determine whether IPV screening increased IPV documentation. Methods. Subjects were women ages 18-65 receiving primary care in two large family practice clinics. All were screened for IPV by study staff using a modified Index of Spouse Abuse and the Women's Experience with Battering scales. We selected and abstracted medical records for all women experiencing current IPV (N = 144) and a random sample of women never experiencing IPV (N = 147). Results. Of 144 women screened as currently experiencing IPV, 14.7% were documented. Women most likely to have IPV documented were Caucasian, with higher WEB scores, and more likely to have an event that could trigger posttraumatic stress syndrome. Although the majority (41/56) of women currently in physically violent relationships did not plan to disclose IPV, those disclosing were significantly more likely to have IPV documented and documentation occurred after screening for 60% of women experiencing IPV. Conclusion. IPV screening increased documentation. IPV screening can provide the opportunity for patients to disclose IPV. Physicians then have the opportunity to compassionately connect patients with appropriate resources.

Additional Information

Preventive Medicine, 34 (4) 445-454
Language: English
Date: 2002
spouse abuse, violence, screening, women, prevention, mental health

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