Screening for family and intimate partner violence: recommendation statement

Ann Intern Med. 2004 Mar 2;140(5):382-6. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-140-5-200403020-00014.


This statement summarizes the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on screening for family and intimate partner violence, based on the USPSTF's examination of evidence specific to family and intimate partner violence, and updates the 1996 recommendations on this topic. In 1996, the USPSTF found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of specific instruments to detect domestic violence (a grade C recommendation, according to 1996 grade definitions). The USPSTF now uses an explicit process in which the balance of benefits and harms is determined exclusively by the quality and magnitude of the evidence. As a result, current letter grades are based on different criteria from those in 1996. The complete information on which this statement is based, including evidence tables and references, is available in the accompanying article in this issue and in the summary of the evidence and systematic evidence review on the USPSTF Web site ( and through the National Guideline Clearinghouse ( The USPSTF recommendation, the accompanying summary article, and the complete systematic evidence review are available through the USPSTF Web site ( The summary article and the USPSTF recommendation statement are available in print through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Publications Clearinghouse (telephone, 800-358-9295; e-mail,

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child Abuse*
  • Elder Abuse*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Spouse Abuse*