Chiropractors' Perceptions About Intimate Partner Violence: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Heather M. Shearer, Mary L. Forte, Sonia Dosanjh, David J. Mathews, Mohit Bhandari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study is to assess chiropractors' attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and experience about intimate partner violence (IPV). Methods: This cross-sectional survey was developed by members of the Violence Against Women Health Research Collaborative. The survey was disseminated to a voluntary, nonrandom convenience sample of chiropractors attending a 3-day continuing education seminar. Surveys were distributed at the entrances of the seminar session rooms and placed on luncheon tables. Respondents returned surveys to collection boxes. Results: Ninety-three doctors of chiropractic completed the survey. Respondents estimated that only 5.2% (95% confidence interval, 3.3%-7.0%) of their female patients were victims of IPV. General knowledge of IPV was good among respondents. Knowledge of clinical indicators and victim's management was fair to poor. Only 22% of respondents identified the most commonly injured body regions among battered women. Lack of knowledge, personal discomfort, and time constraints were all cited as barriers to IPV screening. Conclusions: Our survey indicates that doctors of chiropractic underestimate the prevalence of IPV among their female patients. Like other health care specialists, chiropractors cite multiple IPV screening barriers, especially lack of knowledge. Doctors of chiropractic would benefit from education and training in IPV to enable them to better identify and assist patients who are victims of IPV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge Northwestern Health Sciences University for allowing the Collaborative to survey their seminar attendees. No funding was obtained in preparation of this manuscript. Dr Bhandari was funded in part by a Canada Research Chair in Musculoskeletal Trauma (Canadian Institutes of Health).

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Chiropractic
  • Diagnosis
  • Domestic violence
  • Public health
  • Social perception

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