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Do responses to an intimate partner violence screen predict scores on a comprehensive measure of intimate partner violence in low-income black women?

Authors
Journal
Annals of Emergency Medicine
0196-0644
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
42
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1067/s0196-0644(03)00718-2
Keywords
  • Original Research

Abstract

Abstract Study objectives Screening for intimate partner violence has been advocated as an emergency department (ED) procedure. This study aimed to ascertain whether a 5-item intimate partner violence screening questionnaire could be used effectively in the ED with low-income black women to accurately predict partner abuse status. Methods Data were collected from 200 black women who answered in the affirmative to at least 1 item on the intimate partner violence screener questionnaire, the Universal Violence Prevention Screening Protocol. The women completed a comprehensive battery of measures, including the Index of Spouse Abuse, a commonly used and psychometrically sound measure of intimate partner violence. Results Bivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that, compared with women below the physical–intimate partner violence cut point on the Index of Spouse Abuse, women above the cut point on physical–intimate partner violence on the Index of Spouse Abuse were more likely to answer yes to Universal Violence Prevention Screening Protocol screening questions related to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; threats to be harmed physically; and being afraid. Compared with women below the nonphysical–intimate partner violence cut point on the Index of Spouse Abuse, women above the cut point on nonphysical intimate partner violence on the Index of Spouse Abuse were more likely to answer yes to each screening question on the Universal Violence Prevention Screening Protocol. The 2 Universal Violence Prevention Screening Protocol screening items related to physical abuse best predicted the 2 Index of Spouse Abuse scales. Accurate prediction of physical and nonphysical abuse on the Index of Spouse Abuse required affirmative responses to 4 or more screening questions on the Universal Violence Prevention Screening Protocol. Conclusion A brief intimate partner violence screening device in the emergency care setting can identify abused, low-income, black women. The study is limited by the fact that universal screening was not conducted, the inclusion of only women who acknowledged some form of intimate partner violence, a reliance on retrospective self-reports, and the questionable generalizability of the findings to groups other than low-income black women.

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