Objective: The aim of this study is to assess chiropractors' attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and experience about intimate partner violence (IPV).
Methods: This cross-sectional survey was developed by members of the Violence Against Women Health Research Collaborative. The survey was disseminated to a voluntary, nonrandom convenience sample of chiropractors attending a 3-day continuing education seminar. Surveys were distributed at the entrances of the seminar session rooms and placed on luncheon tables. Respondents returned surveys to collection boxes.
Results: Ninety-three doctors of chiropractic completed the survey. Respondents estimated that only 5.2% (95% confidence interval, 3.3%-7.0%) of their female patients were victims of IPV. General knowledge of IPV was good among respondents. Knowledge of clinical indicators and victim's management was fair to poor. Only 22% of respondents identified the most commonly injured body regions among battered women. Lack of knowledge, personal discomfort, and time constraints were all cited as barriers to IPV screening.
Conclusions: Our survey indicates that doctors of chiropractic underestimate the prevalence of IPV among their female patients. Like other health care specialists, chiropractors cite multiple IPV screening barriers, especially lack of knowledge. Doctors of chiropractic would benefit from education and training in IPV to enable them to better identify and assist patients who are victims of IPV.