January 15, 2013

Updated recommendation: Intimate partner violence screening

The US Preventive Services Task Force released a draft recommendation for routine IPV screening among women of child bearing age. The recommendation has been upgraded since 2004 to a “Grade B” level . The final decision is pending.

The USPSTF based their recommendation on the literature review,“Screening Women for Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review to Update the 2004 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation” by Heidi D. Nelson, MD, MPH; Christina Bougatsos, MPH; and Ian Blazina, MPH; published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This review showed:

  • screening and intervention for IPV is associated with improved health outcomes for women of child bearing age
  • effective screening tools are available
  • routine screening is not associated with significant harms

About the USPSTF: The US Preventive Services Task Force is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and is made up of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals with expertise in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, geriatrics, preventive medicine, public health, behavioral medicine, and nursing. USPSTF members are experts in prevention, evidence-based medicine, and primary care. The USPSTF systematically reviews the evidence for prioritized clinical preventive services to determine the balance of benefits and harms for specific groups of people based on age, gender, and other risk factors for disease. Based on that evidence review, the USPSTF makes recommendations to primary care providers about which clinical preventive health care services to offer their patients and how often.

Read the Draft Recommendation at uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.