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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Colorado: National Survey Finds Most Adults Open to Doctors Asking About Guns

In a groundbreaking national survey, two-thirds of adults sampled agreed that it is at least “sometimes appropriate” to talk about firearms with their health care providers, while the remainder said it is “never appropriate.”

Just under 4,000 adults completed the survey, which also included the same question about alcohol, seat belts, and cigarettes.

Gun owners with a child at home or who viewed the firearm as a risk factor for suicide were more likely to support the idea of having the topic brought up. Study researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University, believe their findings may encourage healthy conversation between providers and patients.

Dr. Marian “Emmy” Betz, co-author of the study, is an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health, and researcher for PIPER (Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research), and says the survey results are encouraging for starting the firearm conversation between provider and patient.

Dr. Betz said it was important to recognize that 66 percent, not 100 percent, of respondents said it was sometimes acceptable to ask about guns.

Dr. Betz advises greater research and collaboration between health care professionals and firearm organizations to make these conversations and education materials more acceptable and impactful.

Full article here.