A study into women's comfort to disclose intimate partner violence

Eleanor Tan, Lorna O'Doherty, Kelsey Hegarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Quantitative research investigating the effects of general practitioner communication on a patient's comfort to disclose intimate partner violence is lacking. We explored the association between GPs' communication and patients' comfort to discuss fear of an intimate partner. Methods: A health/lifestyle survey mailed to 14 031 women (aged 16-50 years) who attended the participating GPs of 40 Victorian general practices during the previous year. Results: There was a 32% response rate (n=4467). The results showed that female GPs were perceived as having better communication; an association between female GPs and comfort to disclose was not apparent in multivariate analyses. Time, caring, involving the patient in decisions and putting the patient at ease maintained associations with comfort to discuss, as did language, lower education, age >25 years and current fear. Discussion: This study advocates increasing communication competence to allow for greater disclosure of sensitive issues such as intimate partner violence in the primary care context. However, it also signals a need in research and practice to focus on marginalised groups and intimate partner violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-517
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication
  • Doctor-patient relations
  • Domestic violence
  • Female
  • General practice
  • Questionnaires
  • Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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