Our expert answers 3 Questions
Along with colleagues at the University of Michigan Injury Center, I am thinking about how the healthcare system can identify and reduce intimate partner violence (IPV) and dating violence. This includes both victims and aggressors, in addition to associated substance use and mental health problems. I am particularly interested in engaging men in reducing IPV, and I use both quantitative and qualitative approaches to understanding men’s perspectives on this health issue. Through this work I am considering how to best utilize the expertise of colleagues in medicine, psychology, social work, nursing, public health, and community-based organizations.
In the U.S., more than 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 4 men will be victims of IPV in their lifetime. Healthcare-based screening for IPV could identify abusive behaviors before patients are injured or need to use the criminal justice and legal systems. The Joint Commission and United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Guidelines recommend that clinicians screen women for IPV victimization. However, healthcare providers have little guidance on IPV screening of men, or for how to identify and intervene in aggression. I am interested in developing and testing motivational interventions to potentially prevent further violence. I am also interested in building practice-based evidence to inform screening of both women and men for IPV victimization and aggression.
Since August 2012, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has required that IPV screening and counseling be covered by insurance at no additional cost to women. Since the beginning of 2013, the ACA has mandated that Medicare, Medicaid, and new group and individual insurance plans cover USPSTF-recommended preventive services, which includes IPV screening and counseling for women 14 to 46 years of age. This expanded coverage may increase health service use by women, and thereby present the opportunity for physicians to prevent violence and injuries.