Screening for intimate partner violence (IPV) may be ineffective if it isn’t combined with prevention methods, according to study findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study, reported on in HealthDay, consisted of 6,743 women between the ages of 18 and 64 and was conducted in 12 family service practices, 11 emergency departments and three gynecology/obstetrics clinics. Out of the 3,271 women who completed a domestic violence-screening questionnaire before visiting a doctor, 347 were found to have been abused. Out of the 3,472 remaining women in the study, researchers found that 360 were abused.

During the next 18 months, 46 percent of the women who had been screened before their health-care visit and 53 percent of those who completed the questionnaire after their visit reported a recurrence of IPV.

Though the women in the screened group showed less depression and more improvement in their quality of life compared with the non-screened group, researchers noted that these differences weren’t statistically significant.

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