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IDENTIFYING INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE AT ENTRY TO PRENATAL CARE: CLUSTERING ROUTINE CLINICAL INFORMATION

Authors

  • Barbara A. Anderson CNM, DrPH,

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    • Barbara A. Anderson is professor and chair in the Department of International Health and coordinator of the master's program in maternal child health at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She has worked domestically and internationally in maternal child health, and she maintains a midwifery practice with low-income urban women in addition to her academic responsibilities

  • Helen Hopp Marshak PhD, CHES,

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    • Helen Hopp Marshak is an associate professor of Health Promotion and Education at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She has worked as an evaluation and statistical consultant on health education projects including intimate partner violence and smoking cessation among pregnant women.

  • Donna L. Hebbeler FNP, MPH, DrPHc

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    • Donna L. Hebbeler is a doctoral candidate in Preventive Care at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. As a nurse practitioner in Alaska, she delivers care to native and non-native women in urban and remote rural health care settings.


Room 1306, Nichol Hall, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA 92354.

ABSTRACT

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the greatest trauma-related risk to American women. Pregnant women are no exception, and escalation of IPV frequently occurs during pregnancy. Many studies have linked IPV during pregnancy to adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. This study examined IPV at the beginning of prenatal care to identify correlates of routine entry-to-care information with responses on a validated IPV screening tool, the Abuse Assessment Screen. The purpose of the study was to identify specific data from routine, standard intake information, which could alert clinicians to the potential of violence even in the presence of a negative IPV score or no formally administered screening tool. The point prevalence of abuse, as measured by the Abuse Assessment Screen at entry to care, was slightly in excess of the national mean, reinforcing the need for continual assessment throughout pregnancy. Abused women in this study were more likely to be young, single, and without family or partner support. These women relied on friends for support, admitted to depression, and desired their pregnancies. The findings are consistent with previous studies. Further research needs to be conducted to determine if this cluster of findings at entry to care, with or without a positive score on an IPV screening tool, are consistent markers for an increased risk of IPV.

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