BACKGROUND: Because individual practitioner's commitment to routine screening for IPV is the greatest predictor that women will be screened and referred for services, it is vital that screeners are dedicated, knowledgeable, and confident in their ability to recognize and assist victims of violence. Self-efficacy has been consistently linked in the literature with successful outcomes. Objectives: Intimate partner violence (IPV) constitutes a major public health problem. In the absence of Federal or State regulation, individual hospitals and systems are left to develop their own policies and procedures. This paper describes the policies and procedures developed by an American domestic violence counseling and resource center. Design: Post test surveys were used. Settings: Hospitals, medical offices, and medical schools surrounding an urban area in Pennsylvania participated. Participants: 320 nurses and medical students participated in training provided by a domestic violence center. METHODS: Post test surveys measured self-efficacy, the perceived usefulness of screening the accessibility of victim services, understanding of obstacles faced by victims, and knowledge-level regarding local IPV services. Participants also self-reported their gender, age, race, and position with the hospital system. RESULTS: Nurses and medical interns exhibit a wide range of self-efficacy regarding their ability to screen victims of intimate partner violence. Intimate partner violence (IPV) training yielded participants who were better informed about IPV services and the obstacles faced by victims. CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of uniform screening guidelines, hospitals, systems, and individual practitioners must be vigilant in screening procedures. Partnerships with women's centers may provide valuable resources and training that may ultimately improve patient care.
J Inj Violence Res. 2011 Jan; 3(1): 19-23. doi: 10.5249/jivr.v3i1.62
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