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USPSTF Updates Stance on Screening Women, Elderly for Violence
By Matt Brown
"For IPV, there is adequate evidence that available screening instruments can identify current and past abuse or increased risk for abuse," the USPSTF said in its statement. "Several instruments used in more than one study were highly sensitive and specific. The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening women of childbearing age for IPV has a moderate net benefit."
The B recommendation on IPV from the task force applies to asymptomatic adult women ranging from 14 to 46 years of age.
- After an evidence review, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends that clinicians screen women of childbearing age for intimate partner violence and either provide or refer women who screen positive to intervention services.
- The USPSTF did not change its recommendation regarding screening for abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults, concluding too little evidence exists to recommend for or against screening.
- The comment period on the draft recommendations ends July 10 at 5 pm EDT.
The task force's new draft recommendation statement is available for comment until July 10, 2012, at 5 pm EDT.
With regard to screening elderly or vulnerable adults (i.e., physically or mentally dysfunctional adults) for abuse and neglect, the task force and the Academy remain on the same page, concluding that the evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of screening.
"Little information is available on the prevalence of abuse among noninstitutionalized elderly or vulnerable adults, although reported rates range from 2 to 25 percent," the USPSTF said in its statement.
The task force also said evidence was insufficient to affirm the accuracy of screening or early detection or that screening or early detection reduces exposure.
According to the USPSTF statement, child abuse and neglect will be addressed in a separate draft recommendation that is being developed.