What Are Barriers to Nurses Screening for Intimate Partner Violence?

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Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) causes serious injury and death each year in the United States. Estimates show that up to 16% of patients are current victims of IPV. The Joint Commission requires patients admitted to the hospital be screened for IPV. Nurses play a pivotal role in this screening process. The goal of this study was to identify nurses' attitudes and perceived barriers to screening. A survey was distributed to clinical nurses caring for inpatients at a level I trauma center. A total of 82.6% of nurses reported taking care of 2 or less victims of IPV in the last year, and 45.8% reported not caring for a single IPV victim in the last year. Most nurses in this study have reported that screening for IPV is important, that it is their responsibility to screen their patients, and that they experience few work environment barriers to screening. Among study respondents, the most common identified barrier to screening is the lack of training.

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