Intimate partner violence victims' acceptance and refusal of on-site counseling in emergency departments: Predictors of help-seeking behavior explored through a 5-year medical chart review

Anna Wai Man Choi, Janet Yuen Ha Wong, Ruby Tsz Fung Lo, Pik Ying Chan, John Kit Shing Wong, Chu Leung Lau, Chak Wah Kam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Healthcare services constitute the first formal support that many intimate partner violence (IPV) victims receive and a link to formal welfare and psychological support. The help-seeking behavior for psychosocial support, e.g., Accident and Emergency Departments (AED) onsite counseling, is key to developing effective support for IPV victims. This study aimed to strengthen the health-welfare support link to aid IPV prevention in AEDs by investigating the acceptance and refusal of on-site counseling by IPV victims. A retrospective cohort study retrieved and reviewed all records of IPV victims presenting at the AEDs of two Hong Kong hospitals between 2010 and 2014. A total of 157 male and 823 female IPV victims were identified, 295 of whom refused on-site counseling. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to examine the association between help-seeking and demographic and violent injury-related factors. The odds of help-seeking via on-site counseling were significantly lower for victims with mental illness (aOR = 0.49; 95% CI = 0.27, 0.88). After controlling for all demographic characteristics, mental illness, and drug abuse information, sex remained an independent predictor of help-seeking (aOR = 2.62; 95% CI = 1.45, 4.74); victims who had experienced > 2 abuse incidents were more likely to seek help than those who had experienced ≤ 2 abuse incidents (aOR = 1.90; 95% CI = 1.11, 3.26). The factors associated with help-seeking from on-site services by IPV victims reflect the need for multidisciplinary collaborative work aimed at IPV prevention. Healthcare professionals require training on how to promote help-seeking behavior targeted specifically for male and female IPV victims according to their needs and preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume108
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Emergency department
  • Help-seeking behavior
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Medical chart review
  • On-site counseling

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