, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 259-265
Date: 24 May 2007

Racial Differences in Battered Women’s Experiences and Preferences for Treatment from Physicians

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The present study evaluated racial differences in battered women’s experiences and preferences for treatment from physicians when seeking help for abuse-related issues. Prior research revealed unexpected findings that African American women rated certain physician behaviors related to victim blaming and expression of sympathy for the male partner less negatively than White women. The present study found that when potential confounders, such as source of care, education level, and income were controlled, racial differences in approval ratings of physician behaviors almost disappeared. Only one physician behavior—blaming the patient for the abuse—differentiated the two groups. However, despite racial differences, both groups rated the behavior negatively. Other findings were that, overall, African American women are more likely than White women to seek abuse-related health care from emergency and urgent care settings and have fewer preferences for the race of their physician provider. Both White and African American women preferred to see a female physician. Implications of these findings for future research are discussed.