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Asking Routinely About Intimate Partner Violence in a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic: A Qualitative Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 29 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2014 Pages: 67-78
Ole Hultmann; Johan Möller; Silje M. Ormhaug; Anders Broberg
Date Published
January 2014
12 pages
This article discusses children exposure to intimate partner violence.
Among children visiting child and adolescent psychiatric clinics (CAP), the prevalence of exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) is reported to be approximately 25 percent. The extent to which CAP clinicians are aware of this violence, however, is unclear. Some researchers recommend asking about IPV at intake, both to raise disclosure rates and to ensure adequate treatment. Many clinicians are reluctant to do so as a matter of routine when there is no indication of occurrence of IPV in the family. When the authors interviewed 14 clinicians about their experiences using a standard questionnaire about IPV, three themes emerged: (a) constraint (the questions hinder the development of good relationships with patients), (b) uncertainty (upon reflection, screening is acknowledged as important, but somewhat deficient), and (c) utility (the questionnaire provides a useful framework). The findings indicate that clinicians' negative feelings and ambivalence make the implementation of routinely asking about IPV a long process. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.