"Disclosing Gender-Based Violence During Health Care Visits: A Patient- Centered Approach"

The purpose of this study was to better understand victims’ perspectives regarding decisions to disclose gender-based violence, namely, intimate partner violence (IPV) and human trafficking, to health care providers and what outcomes matter to them when discussing these issues with their provider.


Twenty-five participants from racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds were recruited from a family justice center located in the southeastern United States. Two fifths had experienced human trafficking, and the remaining had experienced IPV. Semi structured, in-depth interviews were conducted and qualitative content analysis was used. Five primary themes emerged focused on factors that may facilitate or impede disclosure: patient–provider connectedness, children, social support, ambiguity in the role of the health care system in addressing gender-based violence and on outcomes participants hope to achieve when discussing their experiences with health care providers. Victims of human trafficking were more fearful of judgment and had a stronger desire to keep experiences private. The health care system can respond to gender-based violence and its associated comorbidities in numerous ways and interventions must be driven by the patient’s goals and desired outcomes of disclosure. These interventions may be better served by considering patient-centered factors and viewing the effectiveness through a behavioral, patient-centered lens. This study was completed and a manuscript was published in Journal of Interpersonal Violence.