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Rural-Urban Disparities in Emergency Department Intimate Partner Violence Resources

  • Author(s): Choo, Esther K
  • Newgard, Craig D
  • Lowe, Robert A
  • Hall, Michael K
  • McConnell, K John
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

Objective: Little is known about availability of resources for managing intimate partner violence (IPV) at rural hospitals. We assessed differences in availability of resources for IPV screening and management between rural and urban emergency departments (EDs) in Oregon. Methods: We conducted a standardized telephone interview of Oregon ED directors and nurse managers on six IPV-related resources: official screening policies, standardized screening tools, public displays regarding IPV, on-site advocacy, intervention checklists and regular clinician education. We used chi-square analysis to test differences in reported resource availability between urban and rural EDs. Results: Of 57 Oregon EDs, 55 (96%) completed the survey. A smaller proportion of rural EDs, compared to urban EDs, reported official screening policies (74% vs. 100%, p=0.01), standardized screening instruments (21% vs. 55%, p=0.01), clinician education (38% vs. 70%, p=0.02) or on-site violence advocacy (44% vs. 95%, p<0.001). Twenty-seven percent of rural EDs had none or one of the studied resources, 50% had two or three, and 24% had four or more (vs. 0%, 35%, and 65% in urban EDs, p=0.003). Small, remote rural hospitals had fewer resources than larger, less remote rural hospitals or urban hospitals. Conclusion: Rural EDs have fewer resources for addressing IPV. Further work is needed to identify specific barriers to obtaining resources for IPV management that can be used in all hospital settings. [West J Emerg Med. 2011;12(2):178-183.]

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