Computer-Assisted Screening for Intimate Partner Violence and Control: A Randomized Trial

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 17.81). 07/2009; 151(2):93-102. DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-151-2-200907210-00124
Source: PubMed


Intimate partner violence and control (IPVC) is prevalent and can be a serious health risk to women.
To assess whether computer-assisted screening can improve detection of women at risk for IPVC in a family practice setting.
Randomized trial. Randomization was computer-generated. Allocation was concealed by using opaque envelopes that recruiters opened after patient consent. Patients and providers, but not outcome assessors, were blinded to the study intervention.
An urban, academic, hospital-affiliated family practice clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Adult women in a current or recent relationship.
Computer-based multirisk assessment report attached to the medical chart. The report was generated from information provided by participants before the physician visit (n = 144). Control participants received standard medical care (n = 149).
Initiation of discussion about risk for IPVC (discussion opportunity) and detection of women at risk based on review of audiotaped medical visits.
The overall prevalence of any type of violence or control was 22% (95% CI, 17% to 27%). In adjusted analyses based on complete cases (n = 282), the intervention increased opportunities to discuss IPVC (adjusted relative risk, 1.4 [CI, 1.1 to 1.9]) and increased detection of IPVC (adjusted relative risk, 2.0 [CI, 0.9 to 4.1]). Participants recognized the benefits of computer screening but had some concerns about privacy and interference with physician interactions.
The study was done at 1 clinic, and no measures of women's use of services or health outcomes were used.
Computer screening effectively detected IPVC in a busy family medicine practice, and it was acceptable to patients.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Ontario Women's Health Council.

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    • "At the same time, processes and technologies to routinize certain aspects of assessment and care became prominent, with a leading trend now being to have women complete questions about violence exposure (and other ‘lifestyle issues’) on computer kiosks in waiting areas [72,73]. Positioning the difficult task of responding to questions about abuse to a computer, in a room surrounded by other patients, seems counter to all principles of good care for women experiencing violence [74]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Significant emphasis is currently placed on the need to enhance health care decision-making with research-derived evidence. While much has been written on specific strategies to enable these “knowledge-to-action” processes, there is less empirical evidence regarding what happens when knowledge translation (KT) processes do not proceed as planned. The present paper provides a KT case study using the area of health care screening for intimate partner violence (IPV). Methods A modified citation analysis method was used, beginning with a comprehensive search (August 2009 to October 2012) to capture scholarly and grey literature, and news reports citing a specific randomized controlled trial published in a major medical journal on the effectiveness of screening women, in health care settings, for exposure to IPV. Results of the searches were extracted, coded and analysed using a multi-step mixed qualitative and quantitative content analysis process. Results The trial was cited in 147 citations from 112 different sources in journal articles, commentaries, books, and government and news reports. The trial also formed part of the evidence base for several national-level practice guidelines and policy statements. The most common interpretations of the trial were “no benefit of screening”, “no harms of screening”, or both. Variation existed in how these findings were represented, ranging from summaries of the findings, to privileging one outcome over others, and to critical qualifications, especially with regard to methodological rigour of the trial. Of note, interpretations were not always internally consistent, with the same evidence used in sometimes contradictory ways within the same source. Conclusions Our findings provide empirical data on the malleability of “evidence” in knowledge translation processes, and its potential for multiple, often unanticipated, uses. They have implications for understanding how research evidence is used and interpreted in policy and practice, particularly in contested knowledge areas.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Health Research Policy and Systems
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    • "The interactive HRA was recently examined by the authors in a multi-disciplinary family medicine setting [11], and by Rhodes et al. in an emergency department [12]. These studies demonstrated that, as an eHealth tool, the interactive HRA improved several key aspects of provider-patient communication, namely patient disclosure and provider detection of partner violence and compromised mental health. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Emerging eHealth tools could facilitate the delivery of comprehensive care in time-constrained clinical settings. One such tool is interactive computer-assisted health-risk assessments (HRA), which may improve provider-patient communication at the point of care, particularly for psychosocial health concerns, which remain under-detected in clinical encounters. The research team explored the perspectives of healthcare providers representing a variety of disciplines (physicians, nurses, social workers, allied staff) regarding the factors required for implementation of an interactive HRA on psychosocial health. Methods The research team employed a semi-qualitative participatory method known as Concept Mapping, which involved three distinct phases. First, in face-to-face and online brainstorming sessions, participants responded to an open-ended central question: “What factors should be in place within your clinical setting to support an effective computer-assisted screening tool for psychosocial risks?” The brainstormed items were consolidated by the research team. Then, in face-to-face and online sorting sessions, participants grouped the items thematically as ‘it made sense to them’. Participants also rated each item on a 5-point scale for its ‘importance’ and ‘action feasibility’ over the ensuing six month period. The sorted and rated data was analyzed using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses which produced visual maps. In the third and final phase, the face-to-face Interpretation sessions, the concept maps were discussed and illuminated by participants collectively. Results Overall, 54 providers participated (emergency care 48%; primary care 52%). Participants brainstormed 196 items thought to be necessary for the implementation of an interactive HRA emphasizing psychosocial health. These were consolidated by the research team into 85 items. After sorting and rating, cluster analysis revealed a concept map with a seven-cluster solution: 1) the HRA’s equitable availability; 2) the HRA’s ease of use and appropriateness; 3) the content of the HRA survey; 4) patient confidentiality and choice; 5) patient comfort through humanistic touch; 6) professional development, care and workload; and 7) clinical management protocol. Drawing insight from the theoretical lens of Sociotechnical theory, the seven clusters of factors required for HRA implementation could be read as belonging to three overarching aspects : Technical (cluster 1, 2 and 3), Social-Patient (cluster 4 and 5), and Social-Provider (cluster 6 and 7). Participants rated every one of the clusters as important, with mean scores from 4.0 to 4.5. Their scores for feasibility were somewhat lower, ranging from 3.4 to. 4.3. Comparing the scores for importance and feasibility, a significant difference was found for one cluster from each region (cluster 2, 5, 6). The cluster on professional development, care and workload was perceived as especially challenging in emergency department settings, and possible reasons were discussed in the interpretation sessions. Conclusion A number of intertwined multilevel factors emerged as important for the implementation of a computer-assisted, interactive HRA with a focus on psychosocial health. Future developments in this area could benefit from systems thinking and insights from theoretical perspectives, such as sociotechnical system theory for joint optimization and responsible autonomy, with emphasis on both the technical and social aspects of HRA implementation.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
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    • "Recently, the authors developed a computer-assisted psychosocial risk assessment tool for Afghan refugees in Toronto, Canada and conducted a pilot study. This drew from previous work conducted with a similar but different tool for the general population visiting family medicine setting [15]. The primary objective of the new tool for refugees was to examine its potential to integrate medical and social services by using a proxy measure of patients’ intention to visit a psychosocial counselor. "
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    ABSTRACT: Refugees experience multiple health and social needs. This requires an integrated approach to care in the countries of resettlement, including Canada. Perhaps, interactive eHealth tools could build bridges between medical and social care in a timely manner. The authors developed and piloted a multi-risk Computer-assisted Psychosocial Risk Assessment (CaPRA) tool for Afghan refugees visiting a community health center. The iPad based CaPRA survey was completed by the patients in their own language before seeing the medical practitioner. The computer then generated individualized feedback for the patient and provider with suggestions about available services. A pilot randomized trial was conducted with adult Afghan refugees who could read Dari/Farsi or English language. Consenting patients were randomly assigned to the CaPRA (intervention) or usual care (control) group. All patients completed a paper-pencil exit survey. The primary outcome was patient intention to see a psychosocial counselor. The secondary outcomes were patient acceptance of the tool and visit satisfaction. Out of 199 approached patients, 64 were eligible and 50 consented and one withdrew (CaPRA=25; usual care=24). On average, participants were 37.6 years of age and had lived 3.4 years in Canada. Seventy-two percent of participants in CaPRA group had intention to visit a psychosocial counselor, compared to 46% in usual care group [X2 (1)=3.47, p=0.06]. On a 5-point scale, CaPRA group participants agreed with the benefits of the tool (mean=4) and were 'unsure' about possible barriers to interact with the clinicians (mean=2.8) or to privacy of information (mean=2.8) in CaPRA mediated visits. On a 5-point scale, the two groups were alike in patient satisfaction (mean=4.3). The studied eHealth tool offers a promising model to integrate medical and social care to address the health and settlement needs of refugees. The tool's potential is discussed in relation to implications for healthcare practice. The study should be replicated with a larger sample to generalize the results while controlling for potential confounders.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
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