Improving Provider Readiness for Intimate Partner Violence Screening

Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2019 Jun;16(3):204-210. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12360. Epub 2019 Apr 23.


Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health issue. Healthcare providers (e.g., nurses, advanced practice nurses, physicians, social workers) have a unique opportunity to prevent and reduce IPV through screening and referral. The objective of this project was to determine the impact of education and a brief screening tool integrated into the electronic medical record (EMR) on readiness to screen for IPV.

Methods: An intervention was implemented that included the EMR integration of a screening tool, creation of an automated resource telephone system and healthcare provider IPV screening and response education. Readiness for screening was evaluated pre- and postintervention using the Domestic Violence Health Care Provider Survey Scale (DVHCPSS), which is scored cumulatively and by each of six domains. An unpaired Student's t test was performed.

Results: Mean age (31-40 years of age) and years of clinical practice (11-15 years) was the same for pre- (n = 96) and postintervention (n = 83) survey respondents. There was an overall significant increase in screening readiness (p = .003) with significant improvement in "professional role resistance/fear of offending the patient" (p < .0001), "blame victim items" (p = .0029), "perceived self-efficacy" (p = .0064), and "victim/provider safety" (p = .003).

Linking evidence to action: Adopting and integrating a validated IPV screening tool into the EMR combined with education was associated with an improvement in overall readiness for IPV screening. Reducing and preventing IPV through universal screening and referral can be accomplished by embedding a standardized readily accessible validated IPV screening tool in the EMR.

Keywords: abuse/physical; gynecology; mental; nurse-patient relations/nurse-patient relationship; obstetrics; patient advocacy; patient safety; violence; women's health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Personnel / standards
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / psychology
  • Intimate Partner Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Mass Screening / trends
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires