Send to

Choose Destination
Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Mar;85(3):321-5.

Battering in pregnancy: an assessment of two screening methods.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women & Infants' Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.



To compare two different screening techniques for identifying women with a history of domestic violence or battering in the current pregnancy.


The five-question Abuse Assessment Screen was incorporated into routine social service interviews and applied prospectively to all registrants for routine prenatal care at Women & Infants' Hospital during an initial social service evaluation from September 7 through October 29, 1993. This group (N = 143) was compared to a historical control group of all new registrants from July 12 through September 3, 1993 (N = 191) who had routine interviews by social services. Demographic and medical data were compared, as well as the specific information addressed by the screen, including history of domestic violence, physical or sexual violence within the last year, violence during the current pregnancy, recent sexual abuse, and fear of partner.


The median age of the study population was 23 years old, 50% were white, 63% were single, and 42% had no insurance. There was a higher detection of violence in all categories using the Abuse Assessment Screen compared with the standard interview--any history: 41 versus 14% (relative risk [RR] 3.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.0-4.5); recent history: 15 versus 3% (RR 5.6, CI 2.2-14.5); during pregnancy: 10 versus 1% (RR 9.3, CI 2.2-40.5); recent sexual abuse: 4 versus 0% (P = .006); and fear of abuser: 6 versus 3% (RR 1.8, CI 0.6-5.0).


Use of a structured screen improves detection rates of battering both before and during pregnancy, enabling clinicians to have a greater opportunity to intervene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center