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August 5, 2009

Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: Screening Is Not Enough

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Dr Moracco). Dr Cole is Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2009;302(5):568-570. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1135

Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse of women by their intimate partners is common around the world.1 In response to this widespread public health problem, organizations of health care professionals, including the American Medical Association2 and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists3 recommend that all adult female patients be asked routinely about abuse, regardless of their presenting symptoms. However, evidence-based guides to clinical preventive services, such as the US Preventive Services Task Force4 and the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care,5 have concluded that there is insufficient evidence of health benefits to abuse survivors to recommend for or against screening for intimate partner violence (IPV), primarily due to methodological weaknesses of available studies.

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