Validation of the HITS domestic violence screening tool with males

Fam Med. 2005 Mar;37(3):193-8.


Background and objectives: To date, screening tools for domestic violence have been validated only for use with female patients. A four-item HITS (Hurt-Insult-Threaten-Scream) screening tool is one of those instruments. The purpose of the current research was to validate the HITS screening tool in a population of male patients.

Methods: In Phase I of the study, 78 non-victim male subjects from an ambulatory clinic, a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) clinic, or emergency room completed the HITS and the Conflict Tactics Scale to establish the concurrent validity of the HITS. In Phase II, Optimal Data Analysis (ODA) was used to establish the construct validity of the HITS by identifying the score that reliably differentiated Phase I non-victims from 17 self-identified male victims of domestic violence.

Results: Concurrent validity of the HITS was good. ODA found that the score of 11 on the HITS differentiated between non-victims and victims. Sensitivity and specificity were 88% and 97%, respectively. Predictive values were 97% for non-victims and 88% for victims. The positive and negative likelihood ratios were 34.41 and 0.12, respectively.

Conclusions: HITS differentiated between male victimized respondents from non-victims in clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spouse Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*