Screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings: A randomized trial

Harriet L. MacMillan, C. Nadine Wathen, Ellen Jamieson, Michael H. Boyle, Harry S. Shannon, Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, Andrew Worster, Barbara Lent, Jeffrey H. Coben, Jacquelyn C Campbell, Louise Anne McNutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context: Whether intimate partner violence (IPV) screening reduces violence or improves health outcomes for women is unknown. Objective: To determine the effectiveness of IPV screening and communication of positive results to clinicians. Design, Setting, and Participants: Randomized controlled trial conducted in 11 emergency departments, 12 family practices, and 3 obstetrics/gynecology clinics in Ontario, Canada, among 6743 English-speaking female patients aged 18 to 64 years who presented between July 2005 and December 2006, could be seen individually, and were well enough to participate. Intervention: Women in the screened group (n=3271) self-completed the Woman Abuse Screening Tool (WAST); if a woman screened positive, this information was given to her clinician before the health care visit. Subsequent discussions and/or referrals were at the discretion of the treating clinician. The nonscreened group (n=3472) self-completed the WAST and other measures after their visit. Main Outcome Measures: Women disclosing past-year IPV were interviewed at baseline and every 6 months until 18 months regarding IPV reexposure and quality of life (primary outcomes), as well as several health outcomes and potential harms of screening. Results: Participant loss to follow-up was high: 43% (148/347) of screened women and 41% (148/360) of nonscreened women. At 18 months (n=411), observed recurrence of IPV among screened vs nonscreened women was 46% vs 53% (modeled odds ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval, 0.32-2.12). Screened vs nonscreened women exhibited about a 0.2-SD greater improvement in quality-of-life scores (modeled score difference at 18 months, 3.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.47-7.00). When multiple imputation was used to account for sample loss, differences between groups were reduced and quality-of-life differences were no longer significant. Screened women reported no harms of screening. Conclusions: Although sample attrition urges cautious interpretation, the results of this trial do not provide sufficient evidence to support IPV screening in health care settings. Evaluation of services for women after identification of IPV remains a priority. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00182468.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-501
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Volume302
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 5 2009

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Delivery of Health Care
Quality of Life
Intimate Partner Violence
Confidence Intervals
Family Practice
Women's Health
Ontario
Gynecology
Violence
Obstetrics
Canada
Hospital Emergency Service
Referral and Consultation
Randomized Controlled Trials
Odds Ratio
Communication
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Recurrence
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

MacMillan, H. L., Wathen, C. N., Jamieson, E., Boyle, M. H., Shannon, H. S., Ford-Gilboe, M., ... McNutt, L. A. (2009). Screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings: A randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(5), 493-501. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2009.1089

Screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings : A randomized trial. / MacMillan, Harriet L.; Wathen, C. Nadine; Jamieson, Ellen; Boyle, Michael H.; Shannon, Harry S.; Ford-Gilboe, Marilyn; Worster, Andrew; Lent, Barbara; Coben, Jeffrey H.; Campbell, Jacquelyn C; McNutt, Louise Anne.

In: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 302, No. 5, 05.08.2009, p. 493-501.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

MacMillan, HL, Wathen, CN, Jamieson, E, Boyle, MH, Shannon, HS, Ford-Gilboe, M, Worster, A, Lent, B, Coben, JH, Campbell, JC & McNutt, LA 2009, 'Screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings: A randomized trial', Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 302, no. 5, pp. 493-501. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2009.1089
MacMillan HL, Wathen CN, Jamieson E, Boyle MH, Shannon HS, Ford-Gilboe M et al. Screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings: A randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009 Aug 5;302(5):493-501. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2009.1089
MacMillan, Harriet L. ; Wathen, C. Nadine ; Jamieson, Ellen ; Boyle, Michael H. ; Shannon, Harry S. ; Ford-Gilboe, Marilyn ; Worster, Andrew ; Lent, Barbara ; Coben, Jeffrey H. ; Campbell, Jacquelyn C ; McNutt, Louise Anne. / Screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings : A randomized trial. In: Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009 ; Vol. 302, No. 5. pp. 493-501.
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N2 - Context: Whether intimate partner violence (IPV) screening reduces violence or improves health outcomes for women is unknown. Objective: To determine the effectiveness of IPV screening and communication of positive results to clinicians. Design, Setting, and Participants: Randomized controlled trial conducted in 11 emergency departments, 12 family practices, and 3 obstetrics/gynecology clinics in Ontario, Canada, among 6743 English-speaking female patients aged 18 to 64 years who presented between July 2005 and December 2006, could be seen individually, and were well enough to participate. Intervention: Women in the screened group (n=3271) self-completed the Woman Abuse Screening Tool (WAST); if a woman screened positive, this information was given to her clinician before the health care visit. Subsequent discussions and/or referrals were at the discretion of the treating clinician. The nonscreened group (n=3472) self-completed the WAST and other measures after their visit. Main Outcome Measures: Women disclosing past-year IPV were interviewed at baseline and every 6 months until 18 months regarding IPV reexposure and quality of life (primary outcomes), as well as several health outcomes and potential harms of screening. Results: Participant loss to follow-up was high: 43% (148/347) of screened women and 41% (148/360) of nonscreened women. At 18 months (n=411), observed recurrence of IPV among screened vs nonscreened women was 46% vs 53% (modeled odds ratio, 0.82; 95% confidence interval, 0.32-2.12). Screened vs nonscreened women exhibited about a 0.2-SD greater improvement in quality-of-life scores (modeled score difference at 18 months, 3.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.47-7.00). When multiple imputation was used to account for sample loss, differences between groups were reduced and quality-of-life differences were no longer significant. Screened women reported no harms of screening. Conclusions: Although sample attrition urges cautious interpretation, the results of this trial do not provide sufficient evidence to support IPV screening in health care settings. Evaluation of services for women after identification of IPV remains a priority. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00182468.

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