Orthopedic Practices “Well Positioned” to Identify Intimate Partner Violence Victims and Provide Referrals for Support

September 11, 2013 | Risk Management News

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Orthopedic specialties are “well positioned” to identify patients experiencing intimate partner violence, according to a study in the September 7, 2013, issue of the Lancet, which found that 1 in 50 women who present at an orthopedic practice do so with an injury as a result of domestic violence. Musculoskeletal injuries as a result of intimate partner violence “invariably lead to referrals to an orthopedic surgeon” whose practice can help with identifying women who experience such violence and provide referrals to appropriate support services. The study defines intimate partner violence as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse by an intimate partner. Although these women may also present at emergency departments, they often do not disclose the cause of their injuries to emergency care providers, the study authors say.

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