Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 301-305

Intimate partner violence screening in the emergency department

Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University, USA

Correspondence Address:
J D Daugherty
Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18953150

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Background and Aims: Every year between 1.5 and 4 million women are abused by a partner in the United States and many abused women turn to the Emergency Department (ED) as their first source of care. Even though the vast majority of patients would feel comfortable disclosing intimate partner violence (IPV) to their physician, identification and referral is inconsistent . Aims: The aim of this paper was to discuss prevalence statistics of IPV, current screening recommendations and practices in ED settings, and future directions to improve the screening and identifying of victims of IPV that present to the ED. Material and Methods: The authors conducted a Medline search for articles discussing IPV screening in the ED. Results: Intimate partner violence results in approximately 1,300 deaths and 2,000,000 injuries annually among women and up to a third of ED patients have a history of IPV. Despite patients' reported willingness to disclose this information, identification of IPV by healthcare practitioners remains very low, with some estimates ranging between 4-10%. Conclusions: If we do not identify victims of IPV in the ED, this may result in continuation of the abuse, routine returns to the ED for treatment of injuries, and possibly even death.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow