BALTIMORE (December 17, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene today issued a request for public comments on a screening protocol that health care providers can use to help assess whether patients are victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
IPV affects an estimated one out of every three U.S. women at some time in their lives, according to a survey conducted by the CDC, and can have a chronic and disabling impact on physical or emotional health. The health care setting offers a unique opportunity to identify and assist victims of IPV through screening, education, and intervention.
A Maryland IPV Task Force was convened earlier this year to examine the use of tools for IPV assessment in the health care setting.  The Task Force, comprised of health care providers representing the fields of emergency medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, internal medicine, family practice, psychiatry, social work, nursing, nurse practitioner practice, nurse midwifery, physician assistance practice, public health and pediatrics,  recommended routine IPV screening for all women ages 15-50.  This recommendation is in agreement with the U.S. Public Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) recent report of evidence-based research to support routine screening of all reproductive aged women for IPV, along with interventions for those who screen positive.
To facilitate IPV assessment, the Maryland IPV Task Force put together an algorithm for IPV assessment using a simple 3-question IPV screening tool adapted from evidence-based screens.  If a provider prefers a different evidence-based screen for IPV, it can easily be substituted in the algorithm. There is also a screening algorithm for pediatricians who may have the opportunity to assess mothers when they bring their children in for health visits.
Information about IPV assessment can be accessed at  The Task Force guidance is also accessible at this site, and we invite public comment on the sample 3-questions IPV assessment tool and recommendations for routine screening.  Comments can be submitted to by January 17, 2013.