What happens when health care providers ask about intimate partner violence? A description of consequences from the perspectives of female survivors.

Judy C. Chang, Michele Decker, Kathryn E. Moracco, Sandra L. Martin, Ruth Petersen, Pamela Y. Frasier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To describe positive and negative consequences of health care screening for intimate partner violence from the perspectives of female survivors. METHOD: We conducted 7 semistructured focus group interviews with 41 women in battered women's shelters or intimate partner violence support groups. RESULTS: Positive consequences of screening included: recognizing that the violence was a problem, decreased isolation, and feeling that the medical provider cared. Negative consequences included: feeling judged by the provider, increased anxiety about the unknown, feeling that the intervention protocol was cumbersome or intrusive, and disappointment in the provider's response. CONCLUSION: We found that both positive and negative consequences can result from screening for intimate partner violence and that they are related to provider behavior. The positive consequences described by the participants reflect changes in their attitudes, thoughts, and feelings that may precede help seeking. A better understanding of consequences can help providers tailor screening approaches and interventions for intimate partner violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Women's Association (1972)
Volume58
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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