Conundrum

Studies find that doctor screenings have no impact on intimate partner violence

Tuan Le (Flickr)

More than a third of women and more than a quarter of men in the U.S. have been raped, physically assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner at some point in their lives, but the question of how to reduce those numbers remains tough to answer. Two new studies on the topic are not encouraging, as they showed that screening for partner violence during visits to doctors had no effect on the rate of violence that women experienced. One study, led by Joanne Klevens of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, screened 2,700 women in Chicago-area hospitals. Researchers gave some of the women information about partner violence and phone numbers to call to report an incident, and checked in on them after one year and three years, respectively. They found that whether women were given the resources or not, the rate at which they experienced violence remained unchanged. “Research should focus on more intensive interventions among women already identified as abused,” Klevens and her colleagues wrote. The second study led by Karen Rhodes of University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, recruited 600 women and painted a similarly bleak picture. Like Klevens, Rhodes expressed the need for a more in-depth approach. But for now it seems that doctors are not going to be the ones to prevent partner abuse.

Read the full story at Pacific Standard.

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