Increased detection of domestic violence with repeated screening during pregnancy

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frequency of domestic violence reported among women screened once or 2 times during gestation. STUDY DESIGN: Between July 1995 and July 1996, the Abuse Assessment Screen (AAS) was incorporated into routine social service interviews for more than 3,000 women receiving prenatal care in our system. Our population is predominantly urban, medically indigent and 70% black. The AAS uses 5 directed questions to assess for past and recent (1 year) physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse during the index pregnancy, and fear of the partner. RESULTS: We intemewed 2,763 women once and 517 women twice or more. Women screened two or more times, were more likely to have been nulliparous (52% vs 46%, p = .02), to have had a history of sexually transmitted diseases (24% vs 5%, p<.001), and to have been employed (28% vs 6%, p<.001). Other selected demographic characteristics were similar between the two groups. Physical abuse was reported more frequently among women who were screened at least twice. Consideration of potential sources of bias did not explain the differences shown in the table. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SCREENING DURING PREGNANCY______ Screening Frequency Outcomes Once N <%) 2-3x N (%) P Past abuse 390(14) 108(21) <.001 Recent abuse 213(8) 59(11) .005 Abuse in pregnancy 99 (4) 33 (6) .003 Sexual abuse 73 (3) 11 (2) .497 Fear of partner 71 (3) 22 (4) .034 CONCLUSIONS: In our population, domestic violence is common and provider awareness may be increased by repeated screening during pregnancy.
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    Author List

  • Kimberlin PF; Hauth JC; Goldenberg RI; Cliver SP; DuBard M; Arnwine C
  • Volume

  • 176
  • Issue

  • 1 PART II