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Intimate Partner Violence Detection and Care in the Veterans Health Administration: Patient and Provider Perspectives.

Dichter ME, Wagner C, Goldberg EB, Iverson KM. Intimate Partner Violence Detection and Care in the Veterans Health Administration: Patient and Provider Perspectives. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2015 Sep 1; 25(5):555-60.

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BACKGROUND: Women veterans experience high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV), with associated negative health impacts. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has recently developed plans to implement routine IPV screening and provide IPV-related follow-up services for VHA patients. Previous research has examined barriers and facilitators to health care provider screening for IPV. The next step is to examine patients'' disclosure of IPV experiences to health care providers and effective response to such disclosures. We sought to identify VHA patients'' and providers'' perspectives on how to facilitate effective IPV detection and care in VHA. METHODS: We conducted semistructured, qualitative interviews with 25 female veteran patients and 15 VHA health care providers. We used an inductive approach to analyzing interview transcripts and identifying themes that constituted study findings. RESULTS: Themes fell in to two broad categories: 1) barriers to disclosure and 2) barriers to an adequate response to disclosure and providing follow-up care. Barriers to disclosure of IPV to health care providers included lack of provider inquiry, lack of comfort, and concerns about the consequences of disclosure and lack of privacy. Patients and providers both indicated a need for expanded resources to respond to IPV in VHA. CONCLUSIONS: Findings support current plans for IPV program implementation in VHA and point to recommendations for practice and implications for further research.

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