Family Practice Physicians' Firearm Safety Counseling Beliefs and Behaviors


The purpose of this study was to identify family physicians' firearm safety counseling beliefs and behaviors. A survey was mailed to a random sample of 600 members of the American Academy of Family Physicians. A three wave mailing technique was used to maximize the response rate and yielded 271 usable surveys (55% response rate). Outcome measures included training experience in firearm safety counseling, the prevalence of firearm safety counseling by family physicians, and their perceptions regarding such counseling. The majority (78%) of family physicians lacked formal training on how to counsel patients about firearm safety and 49% believed more time should be spent in residency programs on firearm safety counseling. The majority (84%) of respondents never or rarely counseled patients on firearm safety and 50% believed firearm safety counseling should be a low priority in their delivery of primary care. The majority of respondents did not regularly counsel patients about firearm safety, did not believe firearm safety counseling should be a priority, and did not believe firearm safety counseling would be effective in reducing firearm-related trauma.

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Correspondence to Sherry A. Everett.

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Everett, S.A., Price, J.H., Bedell, A.W. et al. Family Practice Physicians' Firearm Safety Counseling Beliefs and Behaviors. Journal of Community Health 22, 313–324 (1997).

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  • Public Health
  • Primary Care
  • Random Sample
  • American Academy
  • Family Physician