Send to

Choose Destination
J Emerg Med. 2012 Feb;42(2):206-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2011.01.032. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Derivation and validation of a short emergency department screening tool for perpetrators of intimate partner violence: the PErpetrator RaPid Scale (PERPS).

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.



There is no short screening tool for perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV), although one is needed.


To retrospectively derive and prospectively validate a brief screening tool for perpetrators of IPV: the PErpetration RaPid Scale (PERPS).


In the derivation phase of the study, we developed the PERPS based on historical data. The PERPS consists of three Yes/No questions about physical abuse of a partner. In the validation phase, we prospectively screened subjects during randomized 4-h shifts in a busy emergency department (ED). Subjects were asked to complete the newly derived three-question PERPS as well as the Physical Abuse of Partner Scale (PAPS), a 25-question Likert scale that is the gold standard for detection of physical abuse of a partner. The main outcome measures were sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, accuracy, and Cronbach alpha of the PERPS for internal consistency.


The PERP Scale derivation was based on a 207-subject historical database, and resulted in a three-question PERPS. Validation was completed on a new set of 214 patients presenting to the ED during 52 randomized 4-h shifts. The prevalence of IPV perpetration using the PERPS was 47/207 (22.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 16-27). For the PAPS, prevalence was 56/207 (27%; 95% CI 20-32). Compared with the PAPS, the sensitivity of the PERPS was 66%, specificity 93%, negative predictive value 87%, positive predictive value 78%, with an accuracy of 85%. Cronbach alpha of the PERPS was 0.68. Age, gender, and race were not predictive of positive results on either scale.


We successfully derived and validated a three-question perpetrator of IPV scale that can be used in a busy ED or office setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center