Identifying intimate partner violence when screening for health and lifestyle issues among women attending general practice

Kelsey L. Hegarty, Lorna O'Doherty, Jill Astbury, Jane Gunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intimate partner violence is a common but under-recognised issue for women attending primary care. There is a lack of studies looking at women's comfort to discuss and openness to getting help for health issues, including fear of a partner, in primary care. Female patients (aged 16-50 years) attending 55 general practitioners (GPs) in Victoria, Australia were mailed a brief survey that screened for health and lifestyle issues, comfort to discuss these issues and intention to get help in primary care. Needing physical activity and smoking were the issues women were most comfortable to discuss; followed by difficulty controlling what and/or how much is eaten, feeling down, depressed, hopeless or worried, and use of drugs or alcohol. Women were least comfortable to discuss fear of a partner and least likely to seek help for it from the GP or primary care nurse. However, as with the other issues, acceptability of being asked in a survey was high. All health and lifestyle issues predicted fear of a partner. Primary care practitioners should be aware of this complex major public health issue especially when carrying out preventive health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-331
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • domestic violence
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy

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