Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Domestic violence is a major medical and sociological problem for women. The purpose of this study was to describe the incidence of and barriers to domestic violence screening by health care providers in one urban county in northern California. A convenience sample of 71 physicians and nurse practitioners with specialties in family practice, OB/GYN, and internal medicine provided the data. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results of responses to a questionnaire. The majority of the providers agreed that screening for domestic violence was appropriate and reported being comfortable with the subject. However, the majority did not address the subject directly or indirectly with female patients, and many underestimated the incidence of domestic violence. Among the identified barriers were inadequate time, difficulty in solving the problem, and discomfort in asking. It was concluded that efforts must be made to overcome barriers and educational programs developed to enhance knowledge. It is recommended that this study be replicated with a larger sample size and target more than one county in Northern California.