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Fam Med. 2002 May;34(5):369-75.

Communicating with patients about intimate partner violence: screening and interviewing approaches.

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Department of Family Medicine, Boston University, MA 02118, USA.


Intimate partner violence is a major public health concern; it contributes to poor physical and mental health in affected individuals, primarily women. Due to documented poor detection rates of intimate partner violence by physicians, the medical community has focused increasing attention on the successful identification of victims in all medical contexts. Family medicine educators need to be aware of the current status of knowledge about intimate partner violence and convey this to students and residents. In this article, we review the literature on screening tools to identify victims of partner violence, discuss the pitfalls of relying on screening tools, review barriers to identification of partner violence from clinician and patient perspectives, and recommend a patient-centered methodfor conversing with patients about intimate partner violence.

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