Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Referral Practices in an Outpatient Care Setting

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3 Scopus citations


Health care providers who screen for intimate partner violence (IPV) and counsel patients can reduce victimization and positively impact women’s health and well-being; yet only 2% to 50% of medical professionals report routinely screening female patients. The purpose of this study was to identify current practices, policies, barriers, and opportunities for a coordinated and routinized response to IPV in an outpatient academic primary care clinic. Data were collected through interviews and the Physician Readiness to Manage Intimate Partner Violence questionnaire. Data on IPV screening practices over a 5-month period were also available through the electronic health record. Study participants expressed that there was no uniform method of documenting screening results and great variability in the patient populations and circumstances that prompted screening. Over two thirds of the survey respondents reported either a lack of IPV protocol or a lack of knowledge about one if it existed. Providers and staff who participated believed it was within their scope of work to screen for IPV and recognized IPV as a serious health threat; however, they cited an absence of patient education resources, a lack of staff training and awareness, and no established IPV referral network as barriers to screening for IPV. The results of the pilot are in line with existing research highlighting a general lack of screening, variability in process, and the absence of systems-level policies and protocols and linkages to community resources. Pilot findings have been used to initiate a project which encompasses routinized screening, documentation, and care coordination between providers and community organizations to improve patient well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 1 2017



  • domestic violence
  • health care
  • intimate partner violence
  • screening

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