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Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)

Department

Global Health

Supervisor

Mohit Bhandari

Language

English

Abstract

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Under conditions of pronounced gender inequality, there is evidence that IPV represents an institutionalized practice in India. We investigated the feasibility of screening women for IPV at an orthopaedic hospital in India. Specifically, we assessed prevalence of IPV, method of questionnaire administration, response rate, availability of community services, environment of administration, and perspectives of health professionals regarding screening in this environment. We administered validated questionnaires to consenting women. The instrument was a compilation of two questionnaires designed for assessment of IPV status in primary care practices. Health professionals involved in conducting the study and in managing care for patients were also interviewed. Data from the interviews were analyzed for themes. Lastly, the investigator kept a field log with observations and interpretations to address other aspects of feasibility. Of 48 eligible women, 47 consented. All participants completed the Woman Abuse Screening Tool (WAST) and 45 completed the Composite Abuse Scale (CAS). Therefore, the response rate was high. Prevalence ranged between 30% (WAST) and 40% (CAS). Method of administration most used was self-report, which indicated a greater disclosure than interview-administration. The environment at this private hospital was considered adequate for conducting a larger study and we found several support networks in the area to help patients who disclosed IPV. Lastly, health professionals were found to be reluctant to screen for IPV. Our pilot study suggests that conducting a large-scale study in this region is feasible with some methodological modifications.

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