Doc­tors are well po­si­tioned to screen for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

Ripon Bulletin - - Local/state/Obituaries -

DEAR DR. ROACH: Hav­ing re­cently changed doc­tors (due to a move), I filled out a new-pa­tient in­take. It had this ques­tion: “Do you feel safe in your home?” It seemed like a ques­tion that might evoke a re­sponse for a lot of pos­si­ble is­sues that could make a per­son feel un­safe. I’m pleased to know that my new doc­tor cares about the safety of her pa­tients, but what if a pa­tient is not ready to di­vulge an un­safe sit­u­a­tion, such as do­mes­tic vi­o­lence? -- G.G.B.

AN­SWER: Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, also called in­ti­mate part­ner vi­o­lence, af­fects both women and men, but women are much, much more likely to be in­jured or killed by part­ner vi­o­lence than men are. IPV can hap­pen in any so­cioe­co­nomic, eth­nic or age group, and it can be very hard to di­ag­nose. Physi­cians are in a good po­si­tion to in­ter­vene, but we of­ten do not ask and do not rec­og­nize the symp­toms or phys­i­cal signs of a per­son in an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship. I agree with rou­tinely ask­ing pa­tients about IPV, and in­clud­ing these is­sues on a ques­tion­naire (ver­bally, elec­tronic or on pa­per) is a good way to screen for IPV. I am in the habit now of telling all new pa­tients that I ask about part­ner vi­o­lence since I have seen so many cases. Of course, the pa­tient must be alone with his or her doc­tor when this is asked.

TOYOUR GOODHEALTH Keith Roach, M.D.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.