Billions of dollars are spent in the United States each year on programs to prevent family violence, despite the lack of scientific evidence that these efforts are effective, according to a new report from a committee of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.
The committee studied 114 evaluations of treatment and prevention programs aimed at child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse. The group concluded that local officials often adopt programs based on the results of unreplicated small-scale studies and do so without sufficient consideration of the studies' limitations.
Stephenson J. Family Violence. JAMA. 1998;279(7):494. doi:10.1001/jama.279.7.494