Gender-based violence screening methods preferred by women visiting a public hospital in Pune, India

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BMC Womens Health

Background: Gender-based violence (GBV) is a major global public health concern and is a risk factor for adverse health outcomes. Early identification of GBV is crucial for improved health outcomes. Interactions with health care providers may provide a unique opportunity for routine GBV screening, if a safe, confidential environment can be established.

Methods: Between November 2014 and February 2015, a cross-sectional, observational study was conducted where women were interviewed about their opinions concerning GBV screening in a tertiary health care setting in Pune, India. Trained counsellors interviewed 300 women at different out-patient and in-patient departments using a semi-structured questionnaire.

Results: Twenty-three percent of these women reported experiencing GBV in their life. However, 90% of women said they had never been asked about GBV in a health care setting. Seventy-two percent expressed willingness to be asked about GBV by their health care providers, with the preferred provider being nurses or counsellors. More than half (53%) women reported face-to-face interview as the most preferred method for screening. There were no major differences in these preferences by GBV history status.

Conclusions: Our study provides evidence for preferred GBV screening methods and optimal provider engagement as perceived by women attending a public hospital.

Suryavanshi N, Naik S, Waghmare S, Gupte N, Khan S, Mave V, Deluca A, Gupta A, Golub J, Bollinger RC, Shankar A. Gender-based violence screening methods preferred by women visiting a public hospital in Pune, India. BMC Womens Health. 2018;18(1): e19. PMID: 29334936; PMCID: PMC5769341

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD