Intimate Partner Violence Screening in the Emergency Department: A Quality Improvement Project

Laura Karnitschnig, Shawn Bowker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Intimate partner violence is a serious public health issue that can be addressed through identification and early intervention. Although screening for intimate partner violence in health care settings is recommended by medical and nursing organizations, it is underperformed. The project objectives were to increase intimate partner violence screening rates, identification, and the referrals/resources provided. Methods: This project was a quality improvement intervention. Intimate partner violence screening training was provided to emergency nurses along with a computer prompt for screening in the emergency department, with a standard referral process to a social service agency. The project data included patient ED visits, partner violence screening rates, positive and negative screening rates, and the number of referrals/resources provided to the patients. Results: There was no increase in the screening rates (28%). Although the screening rates varied considerably from week to week, the highest rate of screening was during the intimate partner violence training week. Pre- and postintervention data showed a significant increase in the number of positive screens obtained per week after the nurse intimate partner violence training (7.80 vs 5.22, t = –4.33, P < 0.01). In addition, the referrals/resources provided to the patients doubled from 9 to 18 after the training, which is clinically significant for patient care. Discussion: This project demonstrates that nurse training along with a computer prompt intervention and standard referral process can contribute to intimate partner violence identification and the referrals/resources provided to the patients. Ultimately, the patients exposed to partner violence may benefit from increased identification and delivery of the referrals/resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Domestic violence
  • Education
  • Emergency department
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Routine screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency


Dive into the research topics of 'Intimate Partner Violence Screening in the Emergency Department: A Quality Improvement Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this