California Public Opinion On Health Professionals Talking With Patients About Firearms

Rocco Pallin, Amanda Charbonneau, Garen J. Wintemute, Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Medical and public health organizations have recommended that health professionals discuss firearm safety with patients at risk for gun-related injury, yet few health professionals do so. Concerns that patients may view conversations about firearms as inappropriate have been reported in prior studies. Using state-representative data from the 2018 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey, this study found that most Californians report gun safety conversations with health professionals to be at least sometimes appropriate when these conversations involved a patient who had a known risk factor for firearm-related harm (depending on the risk factor, 83.7-90.2 percent among all respondents and 70.0-91.2 percent among firearm owners). Majorities of respondents also found intervention by health professionals for those at imminent risk to be at least sometimes appropriate (depending on the intervention, 84.0-89.9 percent among all respondents and 82.6-91.0 percent among firearm owners). These findings can inform health policy and education on clinical strategies for preventing firearm-related harm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1744-1751
Number of pages8
JournalHealth affairs (Project Hope)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Children’s health
  • Firearms
  • Gun safety
  • Guns
  • Health care providers
  • Health policy
  • Mental health
  • Patient harm
  • Patients
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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