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Comment & Response
September 17, 2019

Incorporating Intimate Partner Violence Interventions in Nurse Home Visitation Programs—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Associate Editor, JAMA
  • 2former Fishbein Fellow, JAMA
JAMA. 2019;322(11):1104-1105. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.10606

In Reply In our Editor’s Note,1 we encouraged clinicians to be vigilant for the signs and symptoms of abuse, to assess their patients’ safety, and to refer abused patients for essential health, social, and legal services. Patients diagnosed in emergency departments as having been abused also should be engaged in primary care, because abused women and men are at increased risk for a variety of health problems.2 The improvements in quality of life and other outcomes for abused women assigned to the control group in the trial by Jack et al3 indicate that clinical assessment for abuse and referral for health and social services can be beneficial for abused patients, even in the absence of intensive clinician education on IPV and other program resources. Other studies2,4,5 have found that being interviewed about IPV and provided with safety behavior and empowerment support can be as therapeutic as receiving specialized services. Our point was that when confronted with signs and symptoms of abuse, clinicians should not be deterred by a lack of specialized training or ancillary personnel; making the diagnosis and providing clinical support can make a difference in the lives of abuse survivors.