Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 107–121

The Anatomy of a Community Health Center System-Level Intervention for Intimate Partner Violence

  • Karin V. Rhodes
  • Jeane Ann Grisso
  • Melissa Rodgers
  • Mira Gohel
  • Marcy Witherspoon
  • Martha Davis
  • Sandra Dempsey
  • Paul Crits-Christoph


The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends screening for intimate partner violence (IPV) as part of routine preventive services for women. However, there is a lack of clarity as to the most effective methods of screening and referral. We conducted a 3-year community-based mixed-method participatory research project involving four community health centers that serve as safety net medical providers for a predominately indigent urban population. The project involved preparatory work, a multifaceted systems-level demonstration project, and a sustainability period with provider/staff debriefing. The goal was to determine if a low-tech system-level intervention would result in an increase in IPV detection and response in an urban community health center. Results highlight the challenges, but also the opportunities, for implementing the new USPSTF guidelines to screen all women of childbearing years for intimate partner violence in resource-limited primary care settings.


Intimate partner violence screening Domestic violence Preventative services 


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin V. Rhodes
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jeane Ann Grisso
    • 1
    • 2
  • Melissa Rodgers
    • 1
    • 5
  • Mira Gohel
    • 3
  • Marcy Witherspoon
    • 4
  • Martha Davis
    • 4
  • Sandra Dempsey
    • 4
  • Paul Crits-Christoph
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.School of NursingUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Philadelphia Department of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Safe FamiliesPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Center for Emergency Care Policy Research, Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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