The American Academy of Pediatrics has called upon pediatricians to routinely screen for intimate partner violence
(IPV) as an active means by which to prevent child abuse. The pediatric emergency department (ED) is one potentially important site to screen and to provide women with IPV resources. This cross-sectional questionnaire investigated pediatric health care providers' (HCPs') opinions about displaying IPV posters
and performing IPV screening
in a pediatric ED.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted in the ED of an urban, academic, tertiary care children's hospital that serves approximately 70,000 children each year. A convenience sample of 151 HCPs, defined as any person who provided medical care, including physicians, nurses, paramedics, and respiratory therapists, in the pediatric ED was surveyed using a 4-item questionnaire, designed by investigators, about their views regarding newly displayed IPV posters
and resource cards, their opinions about universal IPV screening
, and their personal use of the IPV materials. Between June and August 2004, surveys were distributed, along with return envelopes to be placed in a sealed box, to HCPs during their shifts in the ED.
Of the 158 distributed surveys, 151 (96%) were returned. Of the sample, 30% were physicians, 53% were RNs, 10% were paramedics/emergency medical technicians, and 7% were other HCPs. Pediatric ED providers supported both IPV resource information and routine screening
. Female providers were more likely than men to support the IPV posters
. Five percent of the sample took IPV resource information for themselves or for later use with patients.
Our pediatric ED's providers' endorsement of IPV screening
and of the presence of IPV posters
demonstrates support for and recognition of the problem of IPV in their patients' families.