Study finds public support for health care providers talking about gun safety

ScienceDaily | 10/10/2019 | Staff
marked (Posted by) Level 4
That's one of the main findings of a study by UC Davis researcher Rocco Pallin published Oct. 7 in Health Affairs' special issue on Violence and Health. While previous studies have found public support for health professionals talking with patients about gun safety in general, Pallin's study is the first to ask about appropriateness of these conversations in specific risk scenarios.

Pallin will present her research at a news briefing on Thursday, October 10 in Washington, D.C. The survey is one of three studies by UC Davis researchers published in the Health Affairs special issue.

Health - Care - Providers - Potential - Risk

"Health care providers have unique potential to recognize risk for firearm injury and -- when risk is elevated and there's access to a gun -- to talk with patients about safe gun practices," Pallin said. "But providers infrequently assess risk and engage with patients in these conversations in part because they think patients won't be receptive or that such discussions may alienate them. Our results suggest that these conversations are broadly acceptable, and that patients may find them most appropriate when there is specific risk."

Over the past 10 years ending in 2017, fatalities from firearm violence among civilians in the U.S. exceeded combat fatalities in World War II. Firearm homicides have increased by 32% since 2014, suicides by 41% since 2006 and the number of nonfatal crime victims by 37% since 2013.

Forty - Percent - Gun - Owners - Study

Forty percent of gun owners in the study sample reported that gun safety conversations were never appropriate in general, compared with less than 20% of those who did not own guns. Given scenarios in which risk for firearm-related harm was elevated, however, few differences existed between gun owners and non-owners, and support for these conversations was high.

"We saw little variation in support for gun safety conversations between those who own guns and those who don't when...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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