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Fear of Partner Violence Among STI Clinic Patients

Arch Sex Behav; ePub 2017 Oct 31; John, et al

Encouraging communication between healthcare providers at sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics and their patients about the potential for intimate partner violence (IPV) could facilitate patient triaging that results in better outcomes for patients and their partners, according to a recent study. Researchers analyzed mixed-method data from 196 quantitative surveys (61% male, median age=31.2, 92% black or African-American) and 25 qualitative interviews to better understand the barriers and facilitators associated with patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) for patients attending a Midwestern, publicly funded STI clinic in the US. They found:

  • Nearly a third of surveyed patients (29; 34% women, 26% men) expressed worry about IPV when delivering PDPT.
  • Patients had concerns about infidelity worry, embarrassment, and anxiety (IWEA) associated with partner notification and PDPT delivery.
  • IWEA was highly correlated with IPV concerns in a fully adjusted logistic regression model.
  • Women had 2.43 times greater odds of worrying about IPV than men; other significant factors associated with IPV worry included higher condom use, no prior STI diagnosis, and being uninsured.


John SA, Walsh JL, Cho YI, Weinhardt LS. Perceived risk of intimate partner violence among STI clinic patients: Implications for partner notification and patient-delivered partner therapy. [Published online ahead of print October 31, 2017]. Arch Sex Behav. doi:10.1007/s10508-017-1051-0.

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