THE OFFICE VISIT
During an Interpersonal Violence (IPV) patient encounter, it is recommended that a provider follow these guidelines:
- De-stigmatize IPV by framing the interview questions
- Screen for IPV and Document encounter in patient chart
- Acknowledge patient concerns and offer support
- Conduct a Safety Assessment
- Refer and offer Resources
- Asking about IPV or DV routinely during the patient assessment.
- When screening questions are asked of all patients, IPV and DV becomes a general health concern and contributes to the community’s knowledge.
“Violence is common in many people’s lives. I ask all my patients about it.”
“Violence in relationships is an important health issue because it affects people’s physical and mental health. So I ask everyone these questions...”
- Linking your IPV or DV questions to another part of the patient interview, such as risk factors, or the depression screening or the social history.
“Do you smoke?"
"How much alcohol do you drink?"
"Any drug use?"
"Do you wear seatbelts?"
"Have you ever been emotionally or physically abused by a partner?"
"Within the past year, have you been hit, slapped or otherwise physically hurt?"
"Within the past year, have you been forced to have sex against your will?"
"Are you afraid of your partner?“
Anyone could be a victim of IPV or DV. Do not assume that certain categories of patients are immune – such as those who are well-educated, wealthy, male, teenaged, or homosexual. Unfortunately, interpersonal or domestic violence touches all types of people.
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ASSESSMENT AND SCREENING TOOLS
Prior to asking about IPV or DV, consider showing the video “Picking up the Pieces” or providing handouts or brochures. This may facilitate conversation about IPV or DV during your screening and assessment.
See Patient Support, Information, & Education
The following tools can be used during the patient encounter to screen and assess for interpersonal or domestic violence:
4 Questions - Abuse Assessment > (Screen / to determine if patient needs to be assessed)
Abuse Assessment > (English / Spanish)
Safety Assessment > (English Only)
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DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES AND FORMS
The following checklists and forms can be used to ensure adequate documentation of the Interpersonal Violence (IPV) or Domestic Violence (DV) event. All forms should be placed in the patient chart.
Adequate documentation can provide concrete evidence of violence and abuse, and may be crucial to the outcome of a legal case. If the medical record and trial testimony are in conflict, the medical record may be considered more credible.
Documentation > Checklist
Photography > Guidelines
Consent to Photograph > (English / Spanish)
IPV Physical Assessment > Guidelines
Head > Guidelines
Body > (Male)
Body > (Female)
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