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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

PIA MAJDALANI, María et al. Validation of a short questionnaire to use in clinical consultations to detect gender violence. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.17, n.2, pp. 79-83. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892005000200003.

OBJECTIVE: To validate a Spanish-language questionnaire to be used in primary care consultations to detect cases of violence against women. METHODS: The validation study was carried out between October 2002 and October 2003 in the Program of General Internal Medicine of the Clinical Hospital of the University of Buenos Aires, in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The original version of this Spanish-language questionnaire had been developed in sexual and reproductive health clinics of five countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The questionnaire covered the most frequent forms of gender-based violence (emotional, physical, sexual, and sexual abuse during childhood); explored how and when the violence occurred and who perpetrated it; and investigated the patient’s perception of her current risk. In the research in Buenos Aires the format and theoretical content of the survey were evaluated, and linguistic and psychometric validations were also carried out. The reliability of the tool was assessed in terms of its reproducibility, stability, and internal consistency. RESULTS: The study found that the women surveyed in Buenos Aires had a good understanding of the questions, the examples given with the questions, and the response options. The women did not perceive the survey as being intimidating or as an intrusion into their private lives. The women generally regarded the use of the survey in primary care settings as a key opportunity for them to express their suffering and to receive assistance. The level of agreement for the answers to the questions in all five areas (psychological violence, physical violence, sexual violence, sexual abuse during childhood, and perception of current risk) was very high, in terms of both reproducibility (kappa values of 0.63 to 1.00) and stability (kappa values of 0.62 to 1.00). The alpha correlation coefficient for internal consistency was 0.755 for psychological violence and physical violence, 0.498 for psychological violence and sexual violence, 0.596 for physical violence and sexual violence, and 0.715 for the different manifestations of violence (psychological, physical, sexual, and abuse during childhood). CONCLUSION: This research demonstrated the soundness of the brief questionnaire, in terms of its format, content, comprehensiveness, and reliability. This instrument can be used in clinical consultations to detect situations of psychological violence, physical violence, sexual violence, and sexual abuse during childhood.

Keywords : Domestic violence; validation studies; Argentina.

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