The objectives of this study were to examine female caregivers' attitudes about the display of domestic violence (DV) resources in a pediatric emergency department (ED) and to explore whether these resources engendered positive feelings about DV screening and encouraged disclosure.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey in a pediatric ED during 2 distinct periods, comparing responses of female caregivers before (pre) and after (post) displaying DV posters and cards. Women were surveyed about (1) personal experience with DV, (2) the appropriateness of DV posters and screening in a pediatric ED, and (3) willingness to divulge DV, if abused.
The 2 groups (pre, n = 133; post, n = 136) did not significantly differ with respect to age, race, education, or personal DV history. The majority endorsed that "it is appropriate to have DV posters," with the post group responding in this manner more often than the pre group (pre, 85%; post, 95%; odds ratio [OR], 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-8.5). The post group was less likely to prefer pediatric ED DV screening (pre, 76%; post, 63%; OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3-0.9) and tended to be less likely to say that they would divulge (pre, 85%; post, 75%; OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.3-1.1). In both groups, women with a DV history were less likely than women without this history to say that they would disclose DV to their pediatric ED provider (P < 0.001).
These results suggest the need for further exploration of how to most effectively help and provide resources for abused women in this setting.