An exploration of screening protocols for intimate partner violence in healthcare facilities: A qualitative study

Jessica Williams, Valerie Halstead, Deborah Salani, Natasha Koermer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Aims and objectives: Explore different methods by which intimate partner violence screening practices are implemented in clinic and emergency settings and better understand barriers and facilitators. Background: Healthcare visits provide an opportunity for providers to identify and provide assistance to victims of intimate partner violence. However, wide variation exists in the implementation of screening and response protocols. In addition, providers experience barriers and facilitators to intimate partner violence screening and response. A comprehensive understanding of these factors is necessary to improve the role that providers play in detection and intervention of intimate partner violence. Design: Qualitative descriptive research design. Methods: Sixteen healthcare facilities were recruited from a large metropolitan area in the USA. Data were collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews with individuals knowledgeable about intimate partner violence screening and response within their facility. Data were analysed using directive content analysis. Results: Major themes and patterns concerning intimate partner violence screening and response were identified within the following areas: procedural characteristics, barriers, facilitators and additional needs. Patient-provider communication and operational/facility characteristics emerged as critical aspects that impact the successful implementation of intimate partner violence screening and response programmes. Differences were found between clinic and emergency settings stemming from variations in health delivery models. Conclusions: Results provide important information on how healthcare facilities implement intimate partner violence screening and response, suggestions for practice improvement and directions for future interventions. Additional guidance is needed to ensure intimate partner violence identification, and response procedures are effective and tailored to needs of patients, providers and the facility. Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses are in a strategic position to play a pivotal role in identification of and response to intimate partner violence. It is essential that nurses are cognizant of this, and understand the actions they can take to assist patients who have been victims of intimate partner violence. Recommendations on how to do this are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
StateAccepted/In press - 2016



  • Barriers
  • Facilitators
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Response
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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