University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine
News Divider

MU Study Finds Surgeons Could Underestimate Domestic Violence-Related Injuries


Survey finds orthopaedic trauma patients injuries can be misidentified

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 30 percent of women in North and South America experience intimate partner violence during their lifetimes. In North America, domestic violence also is the most common cause of non-fatal injuries among women, often resulting in broken bones.

Della Rocca
Della Rocca

However, research from the University of Missouri has found 74 percent of orthopaedic trauma surgeons, who treat many victims of domestic violence, substantially underestimate the prevalence of domestic violence injuries among their patients, and only 23 percent had training to recognize such injuries.

"In our study, we found that most orthopaedic 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," said Gregory Della Rocca, MD, PhD, an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the MU School of Medicine and co-director of orthopaedic trauma services at MU Health Care. "In the United States, most orthopaedic surgeons receive training in techniques for recognizing signs of child abuse, but training to recognize abuse of adults is far less common. Only 23 percent of the surgeons we surveyed had received any training on recognizing and responding to intimate partner violence."

The study was based on a survey of 153 orthopaedic trauma surgeons, mostly in North America. The respondents were asked questions about the importance and ability for medical professionals to recognize and respond to signs of intimate partner violence, their beliefs about the causes of domestic violence, and estimates about the prevalence of domestic-violence injuries among their patients.

An international study of the prevalence of intimate partner violence among orthopaedic trauma clinics recently published in The Lancet found that 40 percent of North American patients reported having experienced violence. However, Della Rocca said his survey showed most orthopaedic surgeons significantly underestimated how often they see domestic violence injuries, with 74 percent of orthopaedic surgeons estimating only 5 percent or less of their patients were victims of intimate partner violence. Della Rocca also was part of the steering and writing committees and the investigation team of 80 investigators for the study published in The Lancet.

"Based on our research about the high prevalence of intimate partner violence among orthopaedic trauma patients and the misconceptions about how common it actually is, I encourage orthopaedic surgeons to seek out education on the topic and learn about community resources where they can refer patients for help," Della Rocca said. "Since the publication of these studies, my orthopaedic trauma surgeon colleagues at the University of Missouri and I have started screening all our patients — male and female — for intimate partner violence, and we are creating an educational program for training our orthopaedic surgery residents."

When Della Rocca and his colleagues find cases of intimate partner violence, they collaborate with University of Missouri Health Care's social workers to provide patients information on community resources, such as counseling, women's shelters and legal protection.

The study "Orthopaedic Surgeons' Knowledge and Misconceptions in the Identification of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women" was published in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research in April 2013. The study "Prevalence of Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence Surgical Evaluation (PRAISE) in Orthopaedic Fracture Clinics: A Multinational Study" was published in The Lancet in September 2013. MU faculty members Brett Crist, MD, and David Volgas, MD, associate professors of orthopaedic surgery, also were co-investigators in The Lancet study.

Click here to download a high-resolution portrait of Della Rocca.

Click here to view a video of Della Rocca discussing his research.



MU Health Magazine

Divider

News and Events

Patrice Delafontaine MU School of Medicine Dean Inducted into Prestigious Medical Society
Delafontaine joins elite group of physicians in American Clinical and Climatological Association
Steven Zweig MU Family Medicine Ranked Among Nation’s Best by U.S. News & World Report
Department has been in top 10 for 23 consecutive years
Uzma Khan MU Initiative Helps Rural Doctors Treat Chronic Pain
Show-Me ECHO to offer special training session April 28
Legacy Teachers MU School of Medicine Program Expands to Other Medical Schools
MU’s Legacy Teachers program lets students recognize patients as educators
Susan Nagel Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal May Increase Endocrine Disrupting Activity
Scientists draw conclusions after study at natural gas and oil extraction wastewater disposal facility
St. Baldricks 2016 Participants Go Bald for Childhood Cancer Research
Community donates more than $40,000 to the cause
Casey Holliday Holliday Recognized for Evolutionary Research
Anatomy researcher receives Young Investigator Award
Diversity and Inclusion Medical Students, Faculty Discuss Diversity, Inclusion
MU School of Medicine hosts gathering at Student National Medical Association annual meeting
Stevermer A Better Fix for Torn ACLs
Study validates newer surgical method for stronger, more natural ligament repair
Stevermer MU School of Medicine Professor to Serve on Elite Medical Society
James Stevermer, MD, to join the Health of the Public and Science Commissions
Khatri Improved Patient Outcomes Linked to Specific Health IT Resources in Hospitals
MU researcher says on-site health IT experts boost employee productivity in hospitals
William Durante Enzyme May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Caused by HIV Medications
Study identifies enzyme that may counteract heart problems associated with antivirals
William Durante Enzyme May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Caused by HIV Medications
Study identifies enzyme that may counteract heart problems associated with antivirals
Laura Morris Juggling Parenting Roles During Residency Training
Residency programs should include flexible scheduling, daycare, peer-to-peer support, MU researcher says
Match Day 2016 Match Day Brings New Beginnings for Medical Students
One hundred percent of the 2016 class received a residency program match
Fraser Nine Graduates and Supporters of MU School of Medicine to Receive Alumni Awards
Medical School Alumna Victoria Fraser to receive top honor
Sandeep Gautam Improved Imaging Takes X-ray Risks Out of the Picture
Study builds on previous research to show that fluoroless procedures are safer, just as effective
Karla Washington Women Report More Challenges Than Men When Caring for Terminally Ill Loved Ones
MU researcher finds female caretakers experience lower self-esteem, more negative effects



Media Relations
University of Missouri Health System
One Hospital Drive, DC028.00
Columbia, MO 65212
24/7 on-call pager: (573) 876-0708

Mary Jenkins
jenkinsmg@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-7299

Jeff Hoelscher
hoelscherj@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-1608

Derek Thompson
thompsonder@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-3323

Diamond Dixon
DixonDi@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-7541

Justin Kelley (Photographer)
kelleyju@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-5786
Pager (573) 397-9289


Web Communications
University of Missouri Health System
One Hospital Drive, MA204G, DC018.00
Columbia, MO 65212
(573) 884-0298

Jennifer Orford
orfordj@health.missouri.edu
(573) 882-0298

Jesslyn Chew
chewj@missouri.edu
(573) 884-2891

Velvet Hasner
hasnerv@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-1115

Justin Willett
willettj@health.missouri.edu
(573) 884-7740



Printer Friendly
Follow us on Twitter!   Facebook   YouTube Videos   Instagram   Pinterest  
Website created and maintained by the Office of Communications. Contact the MU School of Medicine.
Revised: January 03, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 - Curators of the University of Missouri. All rights reserved. DMCA and other copyright information. An equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer.