Intimate partner violence (ipv) is a public health problem that knows no boundaries of age, country of residence or origin, economic status, or education. Primary care clinicians, particularly family physicians, are often the first point of clinical contact for victims of IPV, but may lack confidence in their ability to identify and/or address IPV. Hegarty et al report on a trial from Australia in which women who screened positive for concerns about fear of their partner (n = 272) received care from family physicians who were randomized to receive special training in IPV or no intervention. The intervention group physicians participated in the Healthy Relationships Training program, which is intended to provide the ability to respond effectively to women who have experienced IPV and give brief counseling. The primary outcomes of the trial were changes in quality of life (as per the WHO QOL-BREF), safety planning and behavior, and mental health (as per the SF-12) at 1 year.
At 1 year, there was no difference in the primary endpoint between the intervention group and controls. A favorable impact on depression (a secondary endpoint) was seen. However, since the primary endpoint was not achieved, the potential for benefits on depression must remain considered as hypothesis generating.