Screening male primary care patients for intimate partner violence perpetration

J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Aug;23(8):1152-6. doi: 10.1007/s11606-008-0634-9. Epub 2008 May 6.


Background: Primary prevention of intimate partner violence (IPV) at the level of the primary care provider is unexplored.

Objective: We sought to identify whether men disclose current IPV perpetration when asked by a primary care provider.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Participants: Consecutive male patients of 6 providers in public health, university, and VA hospital clinics.

Measurements: Men were screened for IPV perpetration during routine visits, then given a Conflict Tactics Scale questionnaire (CTS2) to complete and mail back anonymously.

Results: One hundred twenty-eight men were screened; 46 (36%) returned CTS2 questionnaires. Twenty-three and 2 men disclosed past and current perpetration to providers, respectively. Providers assessed lethality/safety issues in 58% of those reporting a perpetration history (including both with current perpetration), responded with direct counseling to 63% (including both with current perpetration), and referred 17% for services related to the screening (including 1 with current perpetration). Nine and 26 men reported current, CTS2-assessed physical and psychological aggression of a partner, respectively.

Conclusions: Men appear to underreport current IPV perpetration in face-to-face primary care encounters when compared to other methods of reporting. Men may more readily report past IPV perpetration in face-to-face encounters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires