Female veterans' preferences for counseling related to intimate partner violence: Informing patient-centered interventions

Katherine M. Iverson, Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, Amy E. Street, Megan R. Gerber, S. Louisa Carpenter, Melissa E. Dichter, Megan Bair-Merritt, Dawne Vogt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Female veterans are at high risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). A critical issue in the provision of health care to women who experience IPV is the delivery of effective brief counseling interventions that address women's unique needs. We aimed to identify female veterans' priorities and preferences for healthcare-based IPV counseling. Method: A 2014 Web-based survey was administered to a national sample of US female veterans. Among 411 respondents (75% participation rate), 55% (n. = 226) reported IPV during their lifetime. These women identified priorities for the content focus of IPV-related counseling and preferences for the delivery of these services. Results: Women prioritized counseling that focuses on physical safety and emotional health, with learning about community resources being a relatively lower priority. Participants preferred counseling to focus specifically on enhancing coping skills and managing mental health symptoms. In addition, women want counseling to be individualized and preferred the option to meet with a counselor immediately following disclosure. Affordable services and attention to privacy concerns were of paramount importance in the context of IPV-related counseling. Conclusion: These findings can inform patient-centered brief counseling interventions for women who experience IPV, which may ultimately reduce health disparities and violence among this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Brief counseling
  • Integrated care
  • Partner abuse
  • Patient preferences
  • Women veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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