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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Screening women for intimate partner violence in healthcare settings

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (90th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
4 blogs
3 policy sources
9 X users
1 Facebook page


278 Dimensions

Readers on

872 Mendeley
Screening women for intimate partner violence in healthcare settings
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd007007.pub3
Pubmed ID

Lorna O'Doherty, Kelsey Hegarty, Jean Ramsay, Leslie L Davidson, Gene Feder, Angela Taft


Intimate partner violence (IPV) damages individuals, their children, communities, and the wider economic and social fabric of society. Some governments and professional organisations recommend screening all women for IPV rather than asking only women with symptoms (case-finding). Here, we examine the evidence for whether screening benefits women and has no deleterious effects. To assess the effectiveness of screening for IPV conducted within healthcare settings on identification, referral, re-exposure to violence, and health outcomes for women, and to determine if screening causes any harm. On 17 February 2015, we searched CENTRAL, Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, six other databases, and two trial registers. We also searched the reference lists of included articles and the websites of relevant organisations. Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of IPV screening where healthcare professionals either directly screened women face-to-face or were informed of the results of screening questionnaires, as compared with usual care (which could include screening that did not involve a healthcare professional). Two authors independently assessed the risk of bias in the trials and undertook data extraction. For binary outcomes, we calculated a standardised estimation of the odds ratio (OR). For continuous data, either a mean difference (MD) or standardised mean difference (SMD) was calculated. All are presented with a 95% confidence interval (CI). We included 13 trials that recruited 14,959 women from diverse healthcare settings (antenatal clinics, women's health clinics, emergency departments, primary care) predominantly located in high-income countries and urban settings. The majority of studies minimised selection bias; performance bias was the greatest threat to validity. The overall quality of the body of evidence was low to moderate, mainly due to heterogeneity, risk of bias, and imprecision.We excluded five of 13 studies from the primary analysis as they either did not report identification data, or the way in which they did was not consistent with clinical identification by healthcare providers. In the remaining eight studies (n = 10,074), screening increased clinical identification of victims/survivors (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.79 to 4.87, moderate quality evidence).Subgroup analyses suggested increases in identification in antenatal care (OR 4.53, 95% CI 1.82 to 11.27, two studies, n = 663, moderate quality evidence); maternal health services (OR 2.36, 95% CI 1.14 to 4.87, one study, n = 829, moderate quality evidence); and emergency departments (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.03 to 7.19, three studies, n = 2608, moderate quality evidence); but not in hospital-based primary care (OR 1.53, 95% CI 0.79 to 2.94, one study, n = 293, moderate quality evidence).Only two studies (n = 1298) measured referrals to domestic violence support services following clinical identification. We detected no evidence of an effect on referrals (OR 2.24, 95% CI 0.64 to 7.86, low quality evidence).Four of 13 studies (n = 2765) investigated prevalence (excluded from main analysis as rates were not clinically recorded); detection of IPV did not differ between face-to-face screening and computer/written-based assessment (OR 1.12, 95% CI 0.53 to 2.36, moderate quality evidence).Only two studies measured women's experience of violence (three to 18 months after screening) and found no evidence that screening decreased IPV.Only one study reported on women's health with no differences observable at 18 months.Although no study reported adverse effects from screening interventions, harm outcomes were only measured immediately afterwards and only one study reported outcomes at three months.There was insufficient evidence on which to judge whether screening increases uptake of specialist services, and no studies included an economic evaluation. The evidence shows that screening increases the identification of women experiencing IPV in healthcare settings. Overall, however, rates were low relative to best estimates of prevalence of IPV in women seeking healthcare. Pregnant women in antenatal settings may be more likely to disclose IPV when screened, however, rigorous research is needed to confirm this. There was no evidence of an effect for other outcomes (referral, re-exposure to violence, health measures, lack of harm arising from screening). Thus, while screening increases identification, there is insufficient evidence to justify screening in healthcare settings. Furthermore, there remains a need for studies comparing universal screening to case-finding (with or without advocacy or therapeutic interventions) for women's long-term wellbeing in order to inform IPV identification policies in healthcare settings.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 9 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 872 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Turkey 2 <1%
Canada 2 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 865 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 125 14%
Student > Bachelor 111 13%
Researcher 95 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 69 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 51 6%
Other 153 18%
Unknown 268 31%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 222 25%
Nursing and Health Professions 119 14%
Psychology 82 9%
Social Sciences 69 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 15 2%
Other 72 8%
Unknown 293 34%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 54. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 November 2022.
All research outputs
of 24,417,958 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,911 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 268,417 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 273 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 24,417,958 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,911 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 268,417 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 273 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.