A  A  A   Print
Bone Doctors May Miss Signs of Domestic Abuse, Survey Finds

Bone Doctors May Miss Signs of Domestic Abuse, Survey Finds

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Only about one-quarter of orthopedic trauma surgeons have the training needed to recognize broken bones caused by domestic abuse, according to new research.

And many of these bone specialists significantly underestimate how often these types of injuries occur among their patients, even though they treat many victims of this kind of violence, the study authors noted.

"In the United States, most orthopedic surgeons receive training in techniques for recognizing signs of child abuse, but training to recognize abuse of adults is far less common," Dr. Gregory Della Rocca, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

Della Rocca's team surveyed 153 orthopedic trauma surgeons, mostly in North America. The surgeons were asked about medical professionals' ability to recognize and respond to signs of intimate-partner violence, and whether that's important. They were also questioned regarding their beliefs about the causes of domestic violence. In addition, they were asked to estimate how many of their patients suffered domestic-violence injuries.

A recently published study found that 40 percent of North American patients at orthopedic trauma clinics have experienced domestic violence. However, this University of Missouri survey found that 74 percent of orthopedic surgeons estimated that only 5 percent or less of their patients were victims of domestic abuse.

"In our study, we found that most orthopedic surgeons believe identifying injuries caused by domestic violence is an important aspect of providing medical care, and they also believe that receiving education to recognize signs of intimate-partner violence could help them to stop violence in some cases," Della Rocca said.

However, "only 23 percent of the surgeons we surveyed had received any training on recognizing and responding to intimate-partner violence," he added.

The study was recently published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

"Based on our research about the high prevalence of intimate-partner violence among orthopedic trauma patients and the misconceptions about how common it actually is, I encourage orthopedic surgeons to seek out education on the topic and learn about community resources where they can refer patients for help," Della Rocca suggested.

About 30 percent of women in North and South America suffer domestic violence at some point in their lives, according to the World Health Organization. In North America, domestic violence also is the most common cause of nonfatal injuries among women, often resulting in broken bones.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about domestic violence.

SOURCE: University of Missouri, news release, Nov. 11, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.