Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Response: Policies and Procedures Across Health Care Facilities

Published:April 01, 2016DOI:



      This study examines policies and procedures for identifying and responding to intimate partner violence (IPV) among different types of health care settings.


      This epidemiologic, cross-sectional, observational study design collected data from June 2014 to January 2015 through a telephone questionnaire from a stratified random sample of 288 health care facilities in Miami-Dade County, Florida. An overall response rate of 76.2% was achieved from 72 primary care clinics, 93 obstetrics/gynecology clinics, 106 pediatric clinics, and 17 emergency departments (EDs).


      There is a general awareness of the importance of IPV screening with 78.1% of facilities (95% CI, 73.9%–82.3%) reporting some type of IPV screening procedures. Wide variation exists, however, in how practices are implemented, with only 35.3% of facilities (95% CI, 29.5%–41.1%) implementing multicomponent, comprehensive IPV screening and response programs. Differences were also observed by setting with EDs reporting the most comprehensive programs.


      This study yields important empirical information regarding the extent to which IPV screening and response procedures are currently being implemented in both clinic and acute health care settings along with areas where improvements are needed.
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      Jessica R. Williams, PhD, MPH, APHN-BC, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. Her research focuses on improving methods for the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices for the prevention of gender-based violence.


      Valerie Halstead, BSN, RN, is a PhD candidate at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. Her research focuses on understanding and improving health services related to sexual assault on college campuses.


      Deborah Salani, DNP, ARNP, CPON, BC-NE, is Assistant Professor, Clinical, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. She has over 25 years of experience as a pediatric nurse in a variety of settings include emergency, intensive care, hemodialysis, and psychiatric.


      Natasha Koermer is an undergraduate student at the University of Miami majoring in Biomedical Engineering with minors in Public Health and Spanish. Her interests include exploring the intersections of public health, service, and engineering to create sustainable solutions in communities of need.