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J Community Health. 2013 Oct;38(5):856-63. doi: 10.1007/s10900-013-9690-0.

How you screen is as important as whether you screen: a qualitative analysis of violence screening practices in reproductive health clinics.

Author information

  • 1Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. dramacha@jhsph.edu


Adolescent and young adult women are disproportionately burdened by violence at the hands of dating and intimate partners. Evidence supports routine screening in clinical settings for detection and intervention. Although screening for intimate partner violence in reproductive health care settings is widely endorsed, little is known about screening practices. We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with healthcare providers (n = 14) in several urban reproductive health clinics in Baltimore City, Maryland to understand screening practices, including related barriers and motivations. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using inductive content analysis. Findings demonstrated substantial variation in screening practices as well as related referral and follow-up, despite the existence of a screening tool. Factors that appeared to undermine consistent and successful screening implementation included lack of a common goal for screening, lack of clarity in staff roles, a gap in on-site support services, as well as lack of time and confidence. Findings affirm the value of applying a systems model to intimate partner violence (IPV) screening programs. This research advances the understanding of the implementation challenges for violence-related screening for high-risk populations such as adolescents and young adults in reproductive health care settings and is particularly relevant given the recent endorsement by the DHHS to cover IPV screening under the Affordable Care Act.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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