Objective: This study assessed chiropractors' attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and experience about intimate partner violence (IPV) and identified if any differences exist between age groups, sex, and year of graduation of respondents.
Methods: Five hundred five Ontario chiropractors were sampled from the Canadian Chiropractic Association membership using a randomization program. This study used a cross-sectional survey. The sample was mailed an introductory postcard and 3 subsequent Provider Surveys, demographic forms, and information letters depending on nonresponse. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Kruskal-Wallis analyses of variance and Mann-Whitney U tests.
Results: A response rate of 61% was attained. Of the respondents, 88% reported that IPV was rare or very rare in their practice. Significant sex differences were identified. Female respondents were almost twice as likely to strongly disagree with victim-blaming statements and were almost twice as concerned for their safety as male chiropractors when broaching the topic with batterers. Older practitioners were significantly more likely to inquire about IPV depending on symptoms, blame victims, have less fear of offending victims, and have fewer safety concerns. Earlier graduates were significantly more likely to inquire about IPV depending on clinical presentation but were also more likely to blame victims.
Conclusions: Ontario chiropractors have very little experience identifying IPV. Chiropractors would benefit from educational programs that would enable them to better identify and manage patients experiencing IPV. Sex, age, and experience were important modifiers in Ontario chiropractors' perceptions and behaviors regarding IPV among their patients.