USPSTF Recommends Primary Care Screening for Domestic Violence in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John W. Epling, Jr., M.D., M.S.Ed Professor of Family and Community Medicine Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Roanoke, VA USPSTF Task Force Member

Dr. Epling

John W. Epling, Jr., M.D., M.S.Ed
Professor of Family and Community Medicine
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Roanoke, VA
USPSTF Task Force Member

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Intimate partner violence, often known as domestic violence, can have devastating consequences to one’s health and wellbeing. It can lead to mental illness, substance abuse, unintended pregnancy, and even death. This is a serious public health issue in America: one in three men—and even more women—experience it in their lifetimes. Because this is such an important topic, and the last time we made a recommendation on it was in 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reviewed the most recent evidence to determine how clinicians can help prevent the negative health effects of intimate partner violence.

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Radiologic Findings Can Be Key In Identifying Intimate Partner Violence

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“IMGP6403_qtu-no-violence” by Rae Allen is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Elizabeth George, MD
PGY-4 Radiology Resident
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Bharti Khurana MD
Clinical Fellow, Harvard Medical School and
Assistant Director, Emergency Radiology
Director, Emergency Musculoskeletal Radiology
Program Director, Emergency Radiology Fellowship
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School


MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: According to the CDC, 1 in 3 women in the United States are victims of abuse by their intimate partner. Despite the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, intimate partner violence (IPV) screening is still not widely implemented and IPV remains very prevalent and often under-recognized.

The goals of this study are to increase the awareness among physicians about this public health problem and to elucidate the potential role of imaging in the identification of these patients. In fact, there is a striking disparity in the literature on the role of imaging in identifying non-accidental trauma in children compared to intimate partner violence.

The common patterns of injury we identified in this population were soft tissue injuries (swelling, hematoma or contusion) followed by extremity fractures, which often involve the distal upper extremities, suggesting injury from defensive attempts. Other common injuries were facial fractures, which represent an easily accessible site for inflicting trauma, and pregnancy failure. Since radiologists have access to both current and prior radiological studies of these patients, they could play a critical role by putting the pieces together in identifying victims of IPV.

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