"Decisions to Disclose and Defining Patient-Centered Outcomes for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking during Healthcare Visits"

The purpose of this study is to better understand victims’ perspectives regarding decisions to disclose IPV and/or human trafficking to healthcare providers and what outcomes matter to them when discussing these issues with their provider. A qualitative descriptive design was used to guide the conduct of this study. Twenty-five ethnically and racially diverse participants were recruited from a family justice center in Miami, Florida. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted and conventional content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Decisional conflict was apparent throughout. Participants indicated reluctance to discuss IPV with providers due to embarrassment, concern about their provider’s reaction, and uncertainty about whether disclosure would result in desired outcomes. Decisions to disclose often occurred because of health concerns (e.g., HIV, anxiety, insomnia) and were facilitated by having a good relationship with their provider. Decisions not to disclose often stemmed from fear. Concern for children emerged as a primary driver of both decisions to disclose and not disclose. Desired outcomes focused on receipt of appropriate health services and feeling supported throughout the process. This study was funded through a Dean’s Award and is currently in the dissemination phase. An R21 grant is currently under review at NIH building upon this work.