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Health Care Providers and Intimate Partner Violence: Attitudes, Beliefs, and Education A Quantitative Study

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Health Care Providers and Intimate Partner Violence: Attitudes, Beliefs, and Education A Quantitative Study. Ingrid Adams and Linda Stonecipher Email: [email protected] AAHPERD National Convention Baltimore, Maryland March 2007 Free Communication. Disclaimer .

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Health Care Providers and Intimate Partner Violence: Attitudes, Beliefs, and Education A Quantitative Study

Ingrid Adams and Linda Stonecipher

Email: [email protected]

AAHPERD National Convention

Baltimore, Maryland

March 2007

Free Communication

  • While abuse is perpetrated by both genders this research concentrates on issues that affect abused women. No prejudice is intended.
overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation
  • Definition of Intimate Partner Violence
    • CDC
    • One women’s voice
  • Purpose of study
  • National Statistics (Oregon, and Local Domestic Abuse Statistics - hand outs only. Demographics of victims - prejudice & myth busters)
  • Rationale
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Questions
definition of term ipv cdc
Definition of Term IPV - CDC
  • The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has defineddomestic abuse asIntimate Partner Violence (IPV). Such violence is perpetrated in a relationship between present or past intimate partners. It is the act or the intention to inflict harm. Abusers seek to control, intimidate, or humiliate their victims. Abuse may be physical, sexual or psychological in nature (Oregon Department of Health and Human Services, 2003).

An abused women’s metaphorical definition

“Place a frog into a pot of cold water with the heat on low. The frog never makes the connection to danger because the water heats slowly over time. Unable to identify the danger the animal does not jump out. The frog will eventually die, shriveled by the heat carefully managed a fractional degree at a time. That is the work of an effective abuser. Bruises are explained in terms of bumps against a post, headaches from slaps, or pulling of hair become hormone related issues, and so on. If the bubble of abuse is not exploded by a tragic event in life, or slowly punctured over time by compassionate inquiry from friends, family, or medical providers, the woman, like the frog will slowly die. Not necessarily a physical death. Worse, she will die a psychological death. The work of the abuser is now only routine maintenance.”

purpose of study
Purpose of Study
  • Investigate the relationship between:
    • Health care provider’s attitudes about female victims of IPV,
    • the provider’s attitudes about his or her role in the intimate relationship of patients,


    • the provider’s education pertaining to intimate partner violence in defined contexts.
  • Also measured was the role clinic support plays in providers’ attitudes about female victims of abuse.
  • Physical health risks to abused women:
    • Physical injuries with long term consequences
    • Post traumatic stress disorders
    • Metabolic disorders
    • Pre-natal health problems/risk to fetus
  • Long term psychological risks to abused women:
    • Shatters self-esteem
    • Shatters self-concept
    • Depression
  • Health risk to children living with domestic violence:
    • Psychological and physical risks
    • Risk of becoming perpetrator or a victim of abuse as adult
national statistics
National Statistics
  • Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) ended the lives of:
    • 61,593 US individuals between the years 1976 and 2002.
    • 38,662 were Femicide – murder of women.

(U.S. Department of Justice, 2004).

national statistics1
National Statistics
  • Data from the National Violence Against Women Survey and the CDC estimates that:
    • 5.3 million IVP victimizations per year in the US(CDC, 2003).
    • 2.0 million women are injured.
    • 550,000 women require medical attention.
    • 8.0 million paid work days are lost
    • 5.6 million days of domestic productivity are lost.
study design
Study Design

Quantitative Study

Convenience sample

study design research variables
Study Design - Research Variables
  • Four Education Categories
    • Pre-service
    • In-service (internship/residency, grand-rounds, current practice)
    • Continuing Education
    • Self-directed Education
  • Three Attitude Measures
    • Total Attitude – all attitude questions
    • Non-blaming
    • Active Role of the Provider (in the intimate relationship of abused patients
  • Additional Data
    • Attitude about the perceived support providers receive in their clinic of practice
study design research variables education
Study Design - Research Variables - Education
  • Pre-service education data were collected in:
    • University semester hours and quarter system credit hours.
    • Semester hours were later articulated into quarter hours at 1.5 quarter hours equal to 1 semester hour.
  • In-service education data and self-directed education data were measured on a 4-point scale and operationalized:
    • None;
    • little (brief introduction)
    • moderate amount (little plus brief discussion)
    • a great deal (thorough introduction and in-depth discussion)
  • Continuing education (CEC/CME) were measured on a range from:
    • None; 2-4hrs; 4-6 hrs; 6>hrs.
methods data collection
Methods - Data Collection
  • I met with 16 clinic administrators.
  • I met with two Women Crisis Shelter Directors, phoned two others.
  • Ultimately distributed 166 surveys in 16 clinics RR 43%, N=71.
    • Approx. 40% of independent clinics not associated with major HMO in area.
    • Approx. 80% of independent primary care clinics in area.
results age of participants
Results - Age of Participants

Gender was almost evenly distributed. No correlation between age and education

results of sample with at least little 4 point scale ipv education little brief introduction
Results% of Sample with at least “Little” (4 point scale) IPV Educationlittle = brief introduction
ResultsCorrelation Coefficients between Attitude Measures and Education Categories (using Pearson r for continuous data)





statistical reliability
Statistical Reliability
  • Reliability was determined by Cronbach’s alpha.
    • attitude reliability .83
    • beliefs about resources reliability .89
  • Results of the statistically significant relationships suggest:
    • More education about a phenomena may lead to more positive attitudes.
    • Positive attitudes inspire more education i.e. - as this study suggest in results of self-directed education.
    • The possibility might exist that individual curiosity about social phenomena or social consciousness, altruistic attitudes, may influence positive attitudes and inspire education.
  • The statistically significant results offer several avenues where domestic violence crisis shelters may address their lobby for IPV education of Health Care Providers:
    • IPV Education of Clinic Administrators
    • Education of Individual Physicians
    • Continuing Medical Education Institutions
    • Medical Schools
  • Results of relationships between pre-service education and attitudes are not statistically significant.
  • These results open the door of opportunity to critically explore where this education takes place.
  • Oregon has many regarded higher education institutions. Attending these are:
      • Future medical care providers
      • Future political governing bodies
      • Future business leaders
      • Future partners in Intimate Relationships
      • Future educators
  • Core curricula in all pre-service and in-service institutions should include education on:
    • What is spouse abuse
    • Roots of violence in intimate relationships
    • The role of social prejudice in partner violence
    • The role of theology in partner violence
    • How can a victim identify the slide into acceptance
    • Critical self-knowledge of behaviors and mood states
    • Tools for healthy relationships
    • Social consequences of violence present and future
what abused women ask of us
What abused women ask of us?

In the Qualitative Study (n=8) for ED534M I learned

  • Abused Women face many hurdles on their path toward a life without violence.
  • Abused Women count two major support networks:
    • Formal – Health Care Providers, Legal System, Judicial System
    • Informal – Friends, Family, Clergy
  • Abused Women ask to please trust in their decisions however unreasonable they seem.
  • Abused Women asked for absolute confidentiality and anonymity from both networks.

Their life as well as their children’s life may depend on it!

limitation of the study
Limitation of the Study
  • Convenience sample
  • As a quantitative study with close-ended questions, this research is limited to the extent to which attitudes can be studied.
  • Qualitative study may examine deeper issues of attitudes and also examine the education physicians feel they may need to assist female victims of spouse abuse.
  • It is difficult to define the construct of education. While great efforts were made to define education, this limitation is acknowledged.
thesis advisors
Thesis Advisors
  • Dr. M. Gatium Education
  • Dr. L. Stonecipher Health & Physical Education
  • Dr. V. Savicki Psychology
  • Dr. Braza Health (Program Advisor)

Our life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth.

Thich Nhat Hanh

This Thesis is Dedicated


Annemarie Gregory

and her physician

Frau Dr. Mez. Lindeman