Data will inform policy and programs to help health care providers best detect and respond to intimate partner violence among women veterans
A new study, published in Springer's Journal of Family Violence, casts light on how health care providers respond to the emotional, sexual and physical violence that female veterans sometimes experience at the hands of their intimate partners. According to the research group, this type of abuse can be common in the lives of women veterans and there is a need to understand how health care providers can best be responsive to this population's health care needs. The research was headed by Dr. Katherine Iverson and colleagues of the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine.
The study included in-depth qualitative interviews with 12 primary care providers who treat female veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in the New England region. Because approximately 15 percent of all military service personnel and 10 percent of veterans are women, it is important that the VA is responsive to all of women veterans' health care needs, including exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV). The article provides foundational research that can inform policy in terms of implementing procedures and strategies to help practitioners deal with the physical, sexual and psychological harm caused by IPV, and associated health problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression.