Victims of Domestic Abuse Confide in Computer More Readily Than a Doctor

Bedside manner of physicians may be overrated.

A new study finds that victims of domestic violence are more likely to report their abuse in a computer-based medical interview than they are talking to a real live doctor.

Interestingly, the study found that, after the “ice was broken” with a computerized questionnaire, victims were more likely to discuss the abuse, when probed by physicians tipped off by the computerized interview results.

The study suggests that widespread use of computer-based surveys of patients would allow physicians to better recognize the handiwork of domestic abusers and to refer victims to appropriate intervention services.

This somewhat surprising outcome may have far-reaching implications for emergency medicine facilities, both in terms of reducing costs of delivering services and of enhancing care.

Read more in this Forbes article.