Universal or focused screening of partner violence in the health care services among young women

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health problem affecting nearly a third of women, with serious implications for physical and mental health. Women experiencing IPV are likely to seek help through health care services (HCS) first. Health care providers are thus crucial in IPV screening, yet this is controversial: while some countries enact universal screening through HCS, others use focused screening only when IPV is suspected.
To examine the extent of implementation of universal screening for IPV for women in Israeli HCS and determine if screening detects those at higher risk for IPV.

Methods: Data were collected in 2014-15 among 1,401 women aged 16-48 visiting 63 Maternal and Child Health (MCH) clinics in Israel, who were interviewed using a structured questionnaire in their language. IPV was measured with a ten-item questionnaire used in MCH clinics. Screening was assessed by a question: Has anyone in the HCS ever asked you whether you have experienced IPV? If so, which HCS?


About 40% of women reported having experienced any type of IPV. About half (51%) in the total sample had never been screened for IPV in HCS. Victims of IPV were more likely not to have been screened (odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI)=1.28 (1.00-1.65)). Those at high risk for IPV were also more likely not to have been screened, including Arab women OR = 2.42 (95%CI=1.27-4.62); not pregnant with children OR = 2.16 (95%CI=1.02-4.60); lower education OR = 2.00 (95%CI=1.23-3.24); religious OR = 1.46 (95%CI=1.05-2.03), and traditional OR = 1.44 (95%CI=0.99-2.09). About 31% of those screened underwent this at MCH clinics, 6% at primary care clinics and 2% in hospitals (2%).
HCS in Israel do not screen universally for IPV. This should change to reach more women at increased risk for IPV.
Original languageEnglish GB
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2017


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