Male victims of partner violence: prevalence and accuracy of screening tools

J Emerg Med. 2006 Nov;31(4):447-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2005.12.029.


The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of two brief surveys for detection of male victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the Emergency Department (ED). This study was conducted prospectively in an urban, teaching hospital over 6 weeks; all men triaged to the acute care portion of the ED were eligible for enrollment. Exclusion criteria included age less than 18 years, refusal, altered mental status, or condition requiring lifesaving intervention. Data included demographics, Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2) score, and scores on two brief surveys of IPV: the HITS ("Hurt/Insult/Threaten/Scream") scale and the Partner Violence Screen (PVS). The CTS2 uses previously validated population scores for female to male psychological aggression and physical assault. Neither the HITS nor the PVS has been validated for use in the ED for detecting male victims of IPV. There were 116 men approached for enrollment; nearly half completed all surveys. Mean age was 41.8 years, and the sample was 73% African-American and 20% white. Thirty-nine percent had positive scores on the psychological aggression portion of the CTS2, whereas 20% had positive scores on the physical assault subscale. Comparing the HITS and PVS to both the psychological and physical portions of the CTS2 resulted in sensitivities of 30-45% and specificities of 83-88%. False negative rates on the two brief surveys ranged from 14-33%, and negative predictive values and positive likelihood ratios were low. Neither the HITS nor the PVS accurately screens male victims of IPV in the ED. Further research is needed to develop a valid, brief screening test to identify male victims of IPV in an acute setting. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Domestic Violence / classification
  • Domestic Violence / prevention & control
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Louisiana / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires