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Responding to Intimate Partner Violence During Telehealth Clinical Encounters

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the US have experienced violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.1 However, for many individuals, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant sheltering at home have increased levels of stress, panic, and financial and emotional strain. The World Health Organization defines intimate partner violence (IPV) as behavior by a partner, spouse, or ex-partner that can cause or causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm.2 A United Nations report cited a global surge in IPV accompanying the stay-at-home and lockdown orders.3 It is possible that IPV cases in many countries have significantly increased. While a recent JAMA Clinical Insights focused on recognizing and responding to IPV during in-person clinical care visits,2 the context of IPV identification and supportive care approaches using telehealth modalities warrants attention.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Melissa A. Simon, MD, MPH, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 625 N Michigan Ave, Ste 1100, Chicago, IL 60611 (m-simon2@northwestern.edu).

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Simon is an immediate past member and current consultant to the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Disclaimer: Dr Simon’s published views do not necessarily reflect those of the USPSTF.

References
1.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Preventing intimate partner violence. October 9, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/fastfact.html
2.
MacMillan  HL , Kimber  M , Stewart  DE .  Intimate partner violence: recognizing and responding safely.   JAMA. 2020;324(12):1201-1202. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.11322PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
United Nations.  UN News website. UN chief calls for domestic violence “ceasefire” amid “horrifying global surge.” April 6, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1061052
4.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Medicare telemedicine health care provider fact sheet. March 17, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet
5.
North  S .  Telemedicine in the time of COVID and beyond.   J Adolesc Health. Published online June 27, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.05.024PubMedGoogle Scholar
6.
Emezue  C .  Digital or digitally delivered responses to domestic and intimate partner violence during COVID-19.   JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020;6(3):e19831. doi:10.2196/19831PubMedGoogle Scholar
7.
Curry  SJ , Krist  AH , Owens  DK ,  et al.  Screening for intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and abuse of vulnerable adults: US Preventive Services Task Force final recommendation statement.   JAMA. 2018;320(16):1678-1687. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14741PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
8.
Usher  K , Bhullar  N , Durkin  J , Gyamfi  N , Jackson  D .  Family violence and COVID-19: increased vulnerability and reduced options for support.   Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2020;29(4):549-552. doi:10.1111/inm.12735PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
9.
Wong  CKM , Yip  BHK , Mercer  S ,  et al.  Effect of facemasks on empathy and relational continuity: a randomised controlled trial in primary care.   BMC Fam Pract. 2013;14:200. doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-200PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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