Screening for Domestic Violence in Health Care Settings. Background

08/01/2013

In 2011 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released, Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps, an extensive report which identified eight key preventive services that would help ensure women’s health and well-being. That same year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted these recommendations in the Women’s Preventive Service Guidelines (hereafter referred to as “the guidelines”). Under the
Affordable Care Act, these services are generally covered in new health plans without requiring a co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2012; The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, § 2713). One of the preventive services identified by the IOM and included in the guidelines is screening and counseling for “interpersonal and domestic violence.” Additionally, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a recommendation in January 2013 calling for clinicians to “screen women of childbearing age for intimate partner violence” (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2013). Given the new policies in support of screening for domestic violence in health care settings, the purpose of this brief is to present the state of practice and research regarding effective screening.

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