13. AMA, ANA and AAP Recommendations for IPV Assessments and Responses

American Medical Association (AMA)

As stated in the “National Advisory Council on Violence and Abuse: Policy Compendium April 2008” the AMA “recommends that questions to assess risk for family violence should be included within the context of taking a routine social history, past medical history, history of present illness, and review of systems as part of emergency, diagnostic, preventive, and chronic care management (CSA Rep. 7, A-05)”. Click here to access the “Policy Compendium”.

In AMA’s policy statement regarding intimate partner violence titled “E-2.02 Physicians' Obligations in Preventing, Identifying, and Treating Violence and Abuse”, specific guidelines for physicians regarding the assessment, treatment and reporting of IPV for patients are provided. The policy states that physicians should be:

  1. Routinely assessing for current and past physical, sexual and psychological abuse as part of patients’ medical histories, understanding how to detect DV, where to make referrals for community services, and not being biased by misconceptions about DV;
  2. Addressing and treating both short and long term injuries caused by DV with cultural competence, working in partnership with community resources, developing educational materials for patients, promoting comprehensive DV training in all medical schools’ curricula, demonstrating leadership by encouraging peers to routinely assess for DV, support DV research regarding prevention and establishing collaborations with public health entities and community organizations; and
  3. Following local mandated reporting requirements.

AMA's full policy statement on IPV can be viewed by clicking here.

American Nurses Association (ANA)

ANA’s The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing published an article titled “Clinical Screening and Intervention in Cases of Partner Violence”, and states in its conclusion that “women have more frequent contact with their health care providers than with any other formal system including law enforcement, prosecution, social service, or mental health. The nursing profession has potential for having enormous impact on the health and safety of women by taking up the challenge of routinely performing violence assessment. Nurses enjoy high patient trust, and their training in empathy and clinical rapport make them ideal receivers for the disclosure of partner violence. It is important to recognize that there are many barriers to a woman reporting partner violence and, with those in mind, use your RADAR.” (Michael P. Griffin, M.A., Mary P. Koss, Ph. D. 2002 Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Article published January 31, 2002). This ANA article can be viewed by clicking here.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

AAP’s Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect wrote “The Role of the Pediatrician in Recognizing and Intervening on Behalf of Abused Women”, a policy statement endorsed by AAP. It states, “the AAP recognizes that family and intimate partner violence is harmful to children. The AAP recommends that:

  1. Residency training programs and continuing medical education (CME) program leaders incorporate education on family and intimate partner violence and its implications for child health into the curricula of pediatricians and pediatric emergency department physicians;
  2. Pediatricians should attempt to recognize evidence of family or intimate partner violence in the office setting;
  3. Pediatricians should intervene in a sensitive and skillful manner that maximizes the safety of women and children victims; and
  4. Pediatricians should support local and national multidisciplinary efforts to recognize, treat and prevent family and intimate partner violence.” (Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, American Academy of Pediatrics: The Role of the Pediatrician in Recognizing and Intervening on Behalf of Abused Women, PEDIATRICS Vol. 101 No. 6 June 1998, pp. 1091-1092.) http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/101/6/1091