Domestic Violence Screening Practices of Obstetrician-Gynecologists

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objective

To ascertain the current knowledge base and screening practices of obstetrician-gynecologists in the area of domestic violence.

Methods

We mailed a survey to 189 ACOG Fellows who are members of the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network. Questionnaires were also mailed to a random sample of 1250 nonmember Fellows.

Results

Obstetrician-gynecologists are aware of the nature of domestic violence and are familiar with common symptomatology that may be associated with domestic violence. For pregnant patients, 39% of respondents routinely screen at the first prenatal visit; 27% of respondents routinely screen nonpregnant patients at the initial visit. Screening is most likely to occur when the obstetriciangynecologist suspects a patient is being abused, both during pregnancy (68%) and when the patient is not pregnant (72%). Only 30% of obstetrician-gynecologists received training on domestic violence during medical school; 37% received such instruction during residency training. The majority (67%) have received continuing education on the subject. Years since training and personal experiences with intimate-partner violence were associated with increased screening practices.

Conclusion

Routine screening of all women for domestic violence has been recommended by ACOG for more than a decade. The majority of obstetrician-gynecologists screen both pregnant and nonpregnant patients when they suspect abuse. However, with universal screening, more female victims of violence can be identified and can receive needed services.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles