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Routine Screening Won't Cut Rates of Domestic Violence, Study Suggests
Date:8/15/2012

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Routine, computer-based doctor's office screening for domestic violence does not improve women's health or safety, a new study indicates.

Researchers led by Dr. Joanne Klevens, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say the findings refute calls for universal screening in primary care settings, which numerous professional and health care organizations now advocate.

The study was published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association and involved more than 2,700 women receiving care in primary care clinics in 2009 and 2010.

Of these women, 55 percent were black and 37 percent were Latina. The study's authors also noted 57 percent of the women had less than a high school education and 57 percent were uninsured.

The women were divided into three groups: those given the domestic violence screen and a list of local resources to help if the screen showed evidence of abuse; those who only received the domestic violence resource list; and those who were not screened and received no list.

The women in the computer-based screening/resource list group who confirmed domestic violence by answering yes to at least one question were also shown a brief video which offered information about the hospital-based domestic violence advocacy program. The video also encouraged the patient to seek help.

The researchers re-contacted almost 2,400 of the women one year after the study began, to assess and rate their quality of life, as well as their physical and mental health. They also tracked any recurrence of domestic violence among the women, the number of days they lost from work or were unable to perform household activities, as well as their use of health care and domestic violence services.

The study revealed that after one year, the average quality of life ratings showed no significant difference between any of the women from
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