Monday, August 25, 2014

Rural primary-care physicians rarely screen women for intimate partner violence, Pa. study says

Rural primary-care physicians in central Pennsylvania rarely screen women for intimate-partner violence, and those who do have no standardized intervening period of time between the abuse and screening, said researchers at Penn State, Victoria Indivero reports for the university.

"In rural settings, it might be even more important for physicians to step in, because there are few places for women experiencing IPV to turn," researcher Jennifer S. McCall-Hosenfeld told Indivero, "The physicians are in a good position to help, and may be the only option for rural women."

About 75 percent of abused women stay with their abuser for economic reasons, especially in rural areas, where intimate-partner violence often goes unreported.

The study of 19 physicians in central Pennsylvania found that only six of them screen women for IPV and seven said routine screening was unnecessary, Indivero writes. One physician said, "I don't think it's appropriate unless there's something to suggest it might be happening. ... We have a lot of patients who come in and are happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and I'm not going to ask those if they're getting beaten on." (Read more)

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