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Screening for Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse of Elderly and Vulnerable Adults:

Clinical Sumary of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation

Release Date: January 2013

Population Asymptomatic women of childbearing age Elderly or vulnerable adults
Recommendation Screen women for intimate partner violence (IPV), and provide or refer women who screen positive to intervention services.
Grade: B
No recommendation.
Grade: I
Risk Assessment While all women are at potential risk for abuse, factors that elevate risk include young age, substance abuse, marital difficulties, and economic hardships.
Interventions Adequate evidence from randomized trials support a variety of interventions for women of childbearing age that can be delivered or referred by primary care, including counseling, home visits, information cards, referrals to community services, and mentoring support. Depending on the type of intervention, these services may be provided by clinicians, nurses, social workers, nonclinician mentors, or community workers.
Balance of Benefits and Harms Screening and interventions for IPV in women of childbearing age are associated with moderate health improvements through the reduction of exposure to abuse, physical and mental harms, and mortality. The associated harms are deemed no greater than small. Therefore, the overall net benefit is moderate. The USPSTF was not able to estimate the magnitude of net benefit for screening all elderly or vulnerable adults (i.e., adults who are physically or mentally dysfunctional) for abuse and neglect because there were no studies on the accuracy, effectiveness, or harms of screening in this population.
Other Relevant USPSTF Recommendations The USPSTF has made recommendations on screening for depression in adults and screening and counseling to reduce alcohol misuse in adults. These recommendations are available at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making these recommendations, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/.

Disclaimer: Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

AHRQ Publication No. 12-05167-EF-4
Current as of January 2013

Internet Citation:

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse of Elderly and Vulnerable Adults: Clinical Summary of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation. January 2013. AHRQ Publication No. 12-05167-EF-4. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/ipvelder/ipveldersum.htm

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