Asking about intimate partner violence: advice from female survivors to health care providers

Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Nov;59(2):141-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.10.008.


Understanding the perspectives of women who have experienced IPV will allow us to identify specific techniques of addressing IPV that increase patient comfort and willingness to disclose and/or seek help. Our study objective was to identify what advice women who had experienced IPV would give health providers regarding how to ask about and discuss the issue of IPV. The women in our study advised that providers (1) give a reason for why they are asking about IPV to reduce women's suspicions and minimize stigma, (2) create an atmosphere of safety and support, (3) provide information, support and access to resources regardless of whether the woman discloses IPV. They emphasized that a provider's asking about IPV is an opportunity to raise patient awareness of IPV, communicate compassion and provide information and not merely a screening test to diagnose a pathologic condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Battered Women / education
  • Battered Women / psychology*
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • North Carolina
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pennsylvania
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Disclosure
  • Social Support
  • Spouse Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Spouse Abuse / prevention & control
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Stereotyping
  • Survivors / psychology*