Helping Women Victims of Intimate Partner Violence: Comparing the Approaches of Two Health Care Settings

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Health professionals from two different clinical settings were asked about their comfort level in dealing with intimate partner violence (IPV). Focus groups and semistructured interviews were used to gather information. Staff in an obstetrics and gynecology setting relatively rich in IPV resources described feeling capable dealing with IPV. The staff in a general medicine setting dedicated to women's health but without a focus on IPV and with fewer supports described discomfort and difficulty dealing with IPV. Presence of systemic prioritization of and resources for IPV were described as contributing to the confidence in addressing the issue. Other necessary elements identified included (a) on-site resources, (b) adequate time, (c) focused IPV training, and (d) a team or systemic approach.

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