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European Journal of Emergency Medicine

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Hospitals -- Emergency services, Spousal abuse, Intimate partner violence -- Treatment, Women -- Violence against


Objective: There is little information about which intimate partner violence (IPV) policies and services assist in the identification of IPV in the emergency department (ED). The objective of this study was to examine the association between a variety of resources and documented IPV diagnoses. Methods: Using billing data assembled from 21 Oregon EDs from 2001 to 2005, we identified patients assigned a discharge diagnosis of IPV. We then surveyed ED directors and nurse managers to gain information about IPV-related policies and services offered by participating hospitals. We combined billing data, survey results and hospital-level variables. Multivariate analysis assessed the likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of IPV depending on the policies and services available. Results: In 754,597 adult female ED visits, IPV was diagnosed 1,929 times. Mandatory IPV screening and victim advocates were the most commonly available IPV resources. The diagnosis of IPV was independently associated with the use of a standardized intervention checklist (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.04-2.82). Public displays regarding IPV were negatively associated with IPV diagnosis (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.35-0.88). Conclusions: IPV remains a rare documented diagnosis. Most common hospital-level resources did not demonstrate an association with IPV diagnoses; however, a standardized intervention checklist may play a role in clinicians' likelihood diagnosing IPV.


This is the author's final version. Published in final edited form as Eur J Emerg Med. 2012 April ; 19(2): 83-88. doi:10.1097/MEJ.0b013e328348a9f2.



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