Computer-assisted screening for intimate partner violence does not result in better health, improved quality of life or reduced violence, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, MedPage Today reports (Petrochko, MedPage Today, 8/14).
For the study, CDC researchers created three random groups among more than 2,000 women who visited health facilities in Chicago from May 2009 through April 2010.
One group completed a computer-assisted screening test consisting of three questions:
- Had the participant been injured by someone within the past year?;
- Did she "feel safe" in her relationship?; and
- Was a past partner currently making her feel unsafe?
Women who answered "yes" to any of the questions were shown a video about how to get help and given materials about social services.
The second group was not screened but was given information about partner abuse and social services. The third group was given general information on social services but was not screened or given specific resources on partner abuse.
At a follow-up to the study one year later, the researchers found no significant differences in health or quality of life outcomes among the three groups (Wetzstein, Washington Times, 8/14).
In total, nearly 10% of women said they experienced partner violence between the initial study period and the follow-up assessment (MacVean, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 8/14).
Lead author Joanne Klevens of CDC said the findings suggest that "[j]ust providing passive referral resources probably isn't enough," adding that doctors should not stop asking women questions about partner violence (Pittman, Reuters, 8/14).