Evaluating domestic partner abuse in a family practice clinic.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although national surveys indicate that approximately 2 million women are victims of severe physical aggression by their partners each year, these women are underidentified by physicians. The assessment by medical personnel of partner abuse is hampered by lack of a simple and reliable instrument that systematically and quickly determines the occurrence and effect of abuse among patients. METHODS: Ninety (58% of an eligible pool) consecutive, consenting, eligible female patients at a suburban family practice clinic at a tertiary university hospital completed the Partner Abuse Interview to evaluate the 1-year prevalence and effect of abuse. RESULTS: The Partner Abuse Interview required as little as 3 minutes to administer. Results obtained with the interview instrument were internally consistent. Interrater reliability was high for the diagnosis of partner relationship problems with physical abuse by males, as reported by females. Approximately 15% of the women reported having sustained injury or being fearful of their partners as a result of their partners' physical aggression in the past year. CONCLUSIONS: The Partner Abuse Interview is a simple and reliable instrument that could be adapted for use by medical personnel to assess incidents of abuse among patients.
Pan, HS; Ehrensaft, MK; Heyman, RE; O'Leary, KD; Schwartz, R
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