Comparison of resident physicians' and women patients attitudes & knowledge of domestic violence

P. Caralis, R. Musialowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Domestic Violence is recognized as a public health problem. Few studies have assessed physicians'attitudes towards their roles in stopping violence.Even fewer have addressed women pts'expectations of Drs in treating victims of abuse. We interviewed 406 women pts (W)& 79 Internal Medicine PGY 2&3 residents(R) at UMSM assigned to Ambulatory Care clinics. 42% of W have experienced abuse by partner;7% were currently in abusive relationships, 3% had forced sex within the past year. 22% of R had Dx/Rx abuse victims during training;9% were themselves ctims;15% had family members who were abused.Both Grps strongly agree DV is an important health threat(85%of W & 95%ofR,p.N.S.)More W felt Drs should routinely screen for abuse(50% of W vs 41% of R,p.006)S could effectively help control violence(36% of W vs 24% of R,p.OOO).While 68% of W could tell Dr they were victims, only 12% had been asked. Only 44% of R felt pts would tell Dr if asked,fl3% felt pts would become angry.offended (p.OOO).Grps agreed barriers to Dx/Rx of victims include Drsiieliefs that ifs a private matter.lack resources to help & fear for own safety.More W strongly support mandatory reporting laws.especially if kids at home(81% of W vs 46% of R.p.OOO). More R would report abuse even if pts say they will lose support.fear for safety or would lose kid$,p.004.More W expect Drs to provide information on community (88% of W vs 75% of R,p.02),legal resources(60% of W vs 38% of R,p.005),help find shelter(78% of W vs 46% of R,p.000)& calling police(50% of W vs 25% of R,p.OOOJ.Understanding beliefs regarding Dx/Rx of victims will be useful to develop effective strategies & improve health care responses to domestic violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310a
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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