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Acad Emerg Med. 2002 Nov;9(11):1176-83.

Measuring the quality of hospital-based domestic violence programs.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, MCP-Hahnemann University, Allegheny General Hospital, Center for Violence and Injury Control, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA.



To obtain consensus among a panel of experts on performance measures useful for evaluating the quality of hospital-based domestic violence (DV) programs.


The Delphi process of consensus development was used with a panel of 18 experts including DV researchers, program planners, and advocates. Three rounds were conducted over a period of six months, with each round involving the completion of a written questionnaire. Panelists were instructed to concentrate on structure and process measures of DV program performance. Health outcome measures were not considered. During each round, panelists rated (scale of 1-5) their level of agreement with each measure, in terms of the measure's usefulness for evaluating hospital-based DV programs. Data were entered into SPSS on a personal computer and frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, and variance were computed for each measure. Consensus development was defined as a reduction in the item-specific variance from one round to the next.


A total of 37 performance measures were agreed upon. These measures fell within nine different domains of DV program activities, including: Policies and Procedures, Hospital Physical Environment, Hospital Cultural Environment, Training of Providers, Screening and Safety Assessment, Documentation, Intervention Services, Evaluation Activities, and Collaboration.


A number of measures have been identified as useful for evaluating hospital-based DV programs. Use of these measures should assist researchers, program planners, and administrators in assessing the quality of hospital-based DV programs.

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