The following is a summary of “Improving Domestic Violence Screening and Follow-Up in a Community Health Clinic,” published in the July 2023 issue of Primary care by Collins, et al.
For a study, researchers sought to establish an enhanced domestic violence (DV) screening and follow-up protocol at a suburban community health clinic, ensuring consistent utilization by staff with eligible female patients. Additionally, the study aimed to identify and address provider/staff barriers associated with this protocol.
The project was conducted at a community health clinic and comprised two presentations: the first presentation outlined existing practices and the proposed intervention plan before implementation, while the second presentation reviewed post-intervention outcomes and sought feedback. Provider/staff barrier surveys were administered at both pre-and post-intervention time points. The intervention encompassed the utilization of the HITS DV screening tool for eligible female patients, along with an algorithm-based follow-up care plan for positive screening cases.
The implementation of the intervention resulted in a 3.1% increase in eligible patient screening, with the number of positive screening cases rising from 0 to 1 from baseline to intervention. Survey scores reflecting provider/staff barriers showed improvement across all questions, with statistically significant enhancements in three of the questions. The established algorithm was effectively employed for managing positive screening cases.
The study underscored the significance of incorporating a validated DV screening tool, along with a systematic algorithm for follow-up care, into an effective DV screening and follow-up program. Addressing provider/staff barriers through the interventions contributed to the success of DV screening and ensured appropriate care for affected patients.