Journal of Community Health

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 508–514 | Cite as

Establishing the Need for Family Medicine Training in Intimate Partner Violence Screening

  • Patti Pagels
  • Tiffany B. KindrattEmail author
  • Guadalupe Reyna
  • Kenrick Lam
  • Mandy Silver
  • Nora E. Gimpel
Original Paper


In 2012, the USPSTF updated its guidelines and now recommends that all women of childbearing age be screened for IPV and services provided for women who screen positive. Based on these recommendations, objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate IPV knowledge, attitudes, and practices of physicians from different specialties and (2) determine significant differences by medical specialty. We recruited (n = 183) Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine (FM) and Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) residents and attending physicians to complete a 15-question online survey assessing knowledge, attitudes and current IPV screening practices. We evaluated associations between medical specialty and knowledge, attitudes and practice measures before and after controlling for covariates. Knowledge of how often IPV occurs in society, community resources, and screening tools were significantly different by specialty (all p’s < 0.05). A majority of FM physicians (88 %) reported that it is a physician’s responsibility to find and treat IPV and 97 % reported that IPV should be included in their training. Compared to OB/GYN physicians in multivariate analyses, FM physicians were less likely to report they were comfortable discussing IPV with their patients in crude (OR = 0.35; 95 % CI = 0.13, 0.94) and adjusted models (OR = 0.20; 95 % CI = 0.06, 0.60). FM physicians were also less likely to report screening female patients for IPV before (OR = 0.25; 95 % CI = 0.08, 0.86) and after adjusting for confounders (OR = 0.11; 95 % CI = 0.03, 0.47). Our results indicate that FM physicians have positive attitudes towards finding and treating IPV yet need enhanced training to improve their comfort level with screening for and discussing IPV with their patients.


Family Medicine Intimate partner violence Domestic violence Residency Training 



We would also like to acknowledge Emeka Jay Ohagi, MPH, Barbara Foster, PhD and Amer Shakil, MD for their support and contribution to this project.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patti Pagels
    • 1
  • Tiffany B. Kindratt
    • 2
    Email author
  • Guadalupe Reyna
    • 1
  • Kenrick Lam
    • 1
  • Mandy Silver
    • 1
  • Nora E. Gimpel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Family and Community MedicineUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physician Assistant StudiesUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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