Systematic review finds new evidence to support routine screening of women for domestic violence
A new systematic eview of recent studies has found evidence that routine screening of women for domestic violence could reduce cases of abuse and injuries, and that general screening for domestic violence did not appear to harm women.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which commissioned this review, will use it to decide whether to update its 2004 guidelines, which state that there is not enough evidence about the benefits and harms of domestic violence screening to recommend it to doctors. A final decision on new guidelines is expected from the Task Force in coming weeks.
The review author, Dr Heidi Nelson said, "It's definitely a stronger set of studies than we looked at before."
The current review evaluated all the studies that have looked at the effects of domestic violence screening in clinics, the treatments that screening led to, and the effectiveness of screening methods that had been published since the review for the 2004 guidelines.
These findings are published in:
Nelson, Heidi D, Bougatsos, Christina, Blazina, Ian. (2012).Screening women for intimate partner violence: a systematic review to update the 2004 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2012, 156(11), published first online.
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