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Editorial
August 15, 2012

Health Care's Response to Women Exposed to Partner ViolenceMoving Beyond Universal Screening

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada (Dr Wathen); Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (Dr MacMillan).

JAMA. 2012;308(7):712-713. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.9913

Partner violence is a serious social and health care issue that results in short- and long-term physical and psychological harm for women, their children, and their families. Consequently, an issue with which the health sector has struggled since partner violence was identified as a major public health problem in 19921 is how to best identify and respond to abused women in primary health care settings. In this issue of JAMA, the study by Klevens and colleagues2 provides important new evidence to inform recommendations for the clinical management of abused women. The results of this clinical trial should encourage shifting the focus away from universal screening (administering a standard set of questions to all patients) to case finding—identifying and providing appropriate clinical and social services to women who show signs and symptoms of abuse.

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