Barriers to Domestic Violence Screening in the Pediatric Setting

  • Erickson M
  • Hill T
  • Siegel R
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OBJECTIVE: By surveying practitioners in our community, we hoped to determine what pediatricians and family physicians (FPs) perceive as barriers to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommendation on Domestic Violence Screening. BACKGROUND: When screened in the pediatric setting, as many as 40% of mothers will disclose domestic violence (DV) by their partner. Recognizing the profound effects of DV on children, the AAP recently recommended that all practitioners incorporate DV screening as a part of routine anticipatory guidance. Yet, there is little information about whether pediatricians have the training, the time to screen, or understand the magnitude of this problem. DESIGN/METHODS: A 22-question survey about attitudes, training, and current DV screening practice was sent to all general pediatricians and FPs with admitting privileges to Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. A copy of the AAP recommendation on screening was included. The vast majority of practitioners with an appreciable pediatric practice in the surrounding tri-state area of 1.8 million people have privileges at the institution. RESULTS: After 2 mailings, 310 (57%) of 547 of questionnaires were returned. The majority of practitioners (64%) were unaware of the AAP recommendation, but 51% of practitioners screened at least high-risk families for DV and 49% had identified a case of DV in their practice. Still, only 8.5% routinely screened for DV and 74% had received no specific DV training. Fifty-eight percent of practitioners estimated the incidence of DV to be

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  • M. J. Erickson

  • T. D. Hill

  • R. M. Siegel

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