Reproductive endocrinologists’ knowledge and attitudes in the identification of intimate partner violence

Reproductive endocrinologists would benefit from improved education and training in intimate partner violence (IPV) screening to enable them to better support infertile patients that may be suffering from IPV throughout their treatment.

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VOLUME 116, ISSUE 6, P1622-1630


Seth J. Barishansky, M.D., M.S., Periel Shapiro, M.D., Gabrielle Meyman, M.S., Mary Ellen Pavone, M.D., M.S.C.I., Angela K. Lawson, Ph.D. 



To assess reproductive endocrinologists’ attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and experiences with intimate partner violence (IPV).


Cross-sectional survey of US reproductive endocrinologists.


The survey was disseminated via both direct mail and e-mail to a voluntary, semirandomized US national sample of reproductive endocrinologists. We randomly selected a maximum of six clinics per state using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report.





Main Outcome Measures

Clinician perceptions and knowledge regarding IPV and its relevance to the infertility setting.


A total of 95 reproductive endocrinology and infertility physicians practicing in either academic or private clinics in the United States completed the survey with an overall response rate of 46% (95/200). General knowledge of IPV was good among respondents. Intimate partner violence assessment was very relevant among 39% (37/95) of respondents and possibly relevant among 56% (53/95) of respondents. A history of IPV awareness training was associated with a decreased frequency of reported barriers, including fewer perceived time constraints, decreased knowledge regarding IPV community resources, and less discomfort asking about IPV. Most respondents estimated the prevalence of IPV in their practice to be rare (≤1%). However, 33% (31/95) reported identifying between one and five active victims of IPV over the prior year, and 63% (60/95) reported identifying a victim of IPV throughout their careers. Only 17% (16/95) of respondents were certain that their clinic had guidelines for detection or management of IPV.


Reproductive endocrinology and infertility physicians would benefit from education and training in IPV to enable them to better identify and assist patients who are victims of IPV.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.