Patient Perspectives on Intimate Partner Violence Discussion during Genetic Counseling Sessions

Christina Chen, Anne Greb, Isha Kalia, Komal Bajaj, Susan D. Klugman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major health concern in the United States (ACOG 2013). The World Health Organization (WHO) describes IPV as any physical, sexual, psychological harm by a current or former intimate partner (WHO 2016). Due to the psychosocial depth and nature of discussions within genetic counseling sessions, patients may disclose and/or discuss IPV as it relates to sexual well-being, reproductive and overall health. This study aims to assess the role for IPV screening, counseling and intervention in genetic counseling practice by investigating the incidence, experiences and attitudes about IPV among genetic counseling patients. Patients receiving genetic counseling at an urban metropolitan hospital were anonymously surveyed about experiences and perspectives on IPV as a topic of discussion during genetic counseling sessions. Among 60 eligible patients, 50 completed the survey (49 females, 1 male, of which, 5 identified as LGBT) ages 20 to 66. The incidence of IPV in this group was 16.0 % (n = 8). Majority of participants had never been asked about IPV by a healthcare provider (n = 32; 64.0%), would have felt comfortable answering questions about IPV by their healthcare provider (n = 34; 68.0%), and would have felt comfortable answering questions about IPV by their genetic counselor (n = 39; 78.0%). Perspectives from all participants, notably those with IPV history, provided insights to the role of genetic counselors in areas for IPV screening and counseling training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 9 2016



  • Abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Genetic counseling
  • Genetics
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Reproductive coercion
  • Sexual coercion
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Unwanted pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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