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Knowledge, attitudes and practices of health care providers in intimate partner violence screening in a private tertiary hospital

Auran Rosanne B. Cortes MD and Irene B. Quinio, MD, FPOGS, FPSMFM, FPSUOG
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Medical City

Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health problem and human rights concern that has an enormous impact on physical, mental, reproductive and socioeconomic aspects of health. Several health professional organizations recommend screening for violence though current screening rates tend to be low because healthcare providers are generally hesitant to be involved in dealing with women who are victims of violence.

Objective: This study therefore attempted to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of obstetricians and gynecologists on screening for intimate partner violence in a private tertiary hospital.

Materials and Methods: The Physician Readiness to Manage Intimate Partner Violence Survey (PREMIS) tool was utilized among 123 obstetricians and gynecologists in a private tertiary hospital in Pasig, Metro Manila, with a response rate of 65.8% (81/123).

Results: Results showed that the sample participants did not have adequate knowledge on IPV; majority of the sample participants were not fully prepared and equipped to handle patients who are victims of IPV; and the sample participants did not routinely screen for IPV.

Conclusion: In the Philippines, the obstetricians and gynecologists generally act as the primary care physicians to the general female population. This provides them a good opportunity to be involved in the secondary prevention of IPV. Recognition of barriers to screening for IPV, development of strategies for increasing awareness to IPV, and education and training of physicians and allied health care professionals may improve the screening practices for IPV. These in turn will help them to provide appropriate, effective, and holistic care to their patients who are victims of violence.