Heidi D. Nelson, MD, MPH; Peggy Nygren, MA; Yasmin McInerney, MD; Jonathan Klein, MD, MPH
Disclaimer: The authors of this article are responsible for its contents, including clinical or treatment recommendations. No statement in this article should be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Acknowledgments: The authors thank members of the USPSTF and reviewers of the full evidence report for their contributions to this project; Patty Davis for conducting the library search; and Miranda Norbraten for helping prepare the manuscript.
Grant Support: This study was conducted by the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center under contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (contract no. 290-97-0018, Task Order Number 2, Rockville, Maryland). Dr. McInerney was supported by the Veterans Affairs special fellowship in Health Issues of Women Veterans.
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Requests for Single Reprints: Reprints are available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Web site (http://www.preventiveservices.ahrq.gov) and through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Publications Clearinghouse (telephone, 800-358-9295).
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Nelson and Ms. Nygren: Oregon Health & Science University, Mail Code BICC 504, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97201.
Dr. McInerney: 13107 Mindanao Way, #1, Marina del Rey, CA 90292.
Dr. Klein: Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642.
Nelson HD, Nygren P, McInerney Y, Klein J. Screening Women and Elderly Adults for Family and Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of the Evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140:387-396. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-140-5-200403020-00015
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(5):387-396.
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Adrian A Boyle
August 13, 2004
Screening women for domestic violence
The article by Nelson et al (1) concludes that intervention studies fail to show any benefit for women suffering domestic violence. They have only considered interventions based in health care and have ignored an extensive literature from psychologists, sociologists and criminologists. There are well conducted controlled trials which show some benefit. (2) (3) Women suffering domestic violence do not only present to physicians but are likely to involve the police and voluntary agencies. Considering interventions based only in healthcare alone is artificial, since this is unlikely to represent the experience of the victim. (4) Though including these studies would probably not have changed the overall conclusions of this review, it is important that researchers in this field consider the wider sources of information before making recommendations.
(1) Nelson HD, Nygren P, McInerney Y, Klein J. Screening Women and Elderly Adults for Family and Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of the Evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine 2004; 140(5):387-396.
(2) Sullivan CM, Bybee D, I. Reducing violence using community-based advocacy for women with abusive partners. J Consult Clin Psychol 1999; 67(1):43-53.
(3) Sherman L, Berk RA. The specific deterrent effects of arrest for domestic assault. American Sociological Review 1984; 49(2):262-272.
(4) Mirrlees-Black C. Domestic violence: findings from a new British crime survey self completion questionnaire. 1-136. 1999. Home Office Publications.
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