health professionals question their patients too little, according to the High Authority of Health

Only 3% of women say they have been questioned by their general practitioner about possible domestic violence in the last eighteen months, according to a study published Friday November 24 by the High Authority for Health (HAS), which recommends questioning “systematically” patients to better identify victims.

Since 2019, HAS has recommended primary care healthcare professionals (general practitioners, gynecologists, pediatricians, emergency doctors, midwives, etc.) to ask all their patients if they are experiencing or have experienced violence, even in the absence of signs of violence. ‘alert. The issue is to “make it easier for victims to speak by normalizing the subject”recalls the public authority in a press release.

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According to this barometer carried out with the BVA institute in October 2022 then in October 2023, out of 1,000 women, 891 of whom had consulted a general practitioner over the last eighteen months, the practices of doctors “stagnate” and this recommendation remains “too little implementation”while the women are there “very favorable”continues the HAS.

In 2022 as in 2023, only 14% of women who consulted a general practitioner during the period remembered having been questioned about their relationship with their partner. And a very small minority, i.e. 3% of respondents, say they have “were directly questioned about possible domestic violence” suffered.

Most women “supportive” of these issues

Within this sample, one in five women reported experiencing or having already experienced violence from their partner (physical, verbal, psychological or ), while 2% said they were currently experiencing it and 18% had already experienced it. been victims in the past. “On average in France, it is estimated that three to four women out of ten could be victims of domestic violence among the patients of a general practitioner”specifies the HAS.

“Contrary to the fears of some professionals, 96% of the women surveyed consider that systematic questioning is a good thing” (48% a very good thing, 48% rather a good thing), observes the HAS. Some of them indicated that they might feel embarred (23%), judged (15%) or shocked (13%) by this type of question, but most “still declare that they are in favor of it”.

Resources on domestic violence are still insufficiently available in practices: only 28% of the panel “remembers seeing it”, a slightly larger proportion (38%) among those who have already been victims. The survey was carried out online on a representative sample of 1,000 French women over 18 years old, between September 29 and October 6, 2023.

The World with AFP

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