Identification of physician and patient attributes that influence the likelihood of screening for intimate partner violence
Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Physiology
Medical Subject Headings
Age Factors; Clinical Competence; Contusions; Female; Humans; Internship and Residency; Likelihood Functions; Linear Models; Male; Mass Screening; Physician's Practice Patterns; Physicians; Questionnaires; Regression Analysis; Sex Factors; Spouse Abuse; United States
Health Services Research | Primary Care
PURPOSE: Effective assessment of intimate partner violence (IPV) demands that everyone at risk be screened. To identify potential barriers, paper-and-pencil case scenarios identified possible practitioner and patient attributes that influence IPV screening.
METHOD: First-year residents responded to one of four short written scenarios describing a divorced female patient with nonlocalized abdominal pain; variables were patient's age and abdominal bruising. Residents rated their likelihood of screening for IPV and seven other screening tasks and self-assessed their competence in performing each task. Regression analyses assessed the influence of resident and patient characteristics on screening likelihood.
RESULTS: Patient bruising, younger patient age, and resident self-assessed competence best predicted IPV screening. Men were less likely than women to screen for IPV.
CONCLUSIONS: Although most physicians receive training on IPV in medical school, barriers to IPV screening still exist. Identifying obstacles to IPV risk-assessment is an essential prerequisite for improving educational programs that promote routine IPV screening.
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Citation: Acad Med. 2003 Oct;78(10 Suppl):S20-3.