MMS Issues New Version of Clinician’s Guide to Intimate-partner Violence

WALTHAM — The Mass. Medical Society (MMS) has announced the release of an expanded sixth edition of “Intimate Partner Violence: The Clinician’s Guide to Identification, Assessment, Intervention, and Prevention,” a free resource for health professionals to improve their ability to identify and respond to patients who have experienced or may be at risk of intimate-partner violence (also known as domestic violence).

Produced by the society’s committee on violence intervention and prevention and peer-reviewed by experts in violence and abuse, the guidebook has become a authoritative resource widely used by healthcare providers and advocates nationally and internationally.

This latest edition represents a major revision of the guidebook, first published in 1992, and is intended to provide comprehensive, healthcare-focused guidance about intimate-partner violence identification, response, and prevention in a compact and efficient format.

Dr. Elaine Alpert, guidebook author and founding chair of the committee, believes medical professionals can play a vital role in reducing domestic violence.

“Because physicians and other healthcare providers are often the first, and sometimes the only, trusted professionals survivors of abuse and violence may encounter, they can play a crucial role in breaking the cycle of violence and working toward both safety and prevention,” she said. “Critical input and insight from medical and advocacy colleagues both within and outside of Massachusetts has made this edition one that I think will advance medical practice and ultimately help our patients achieve the health, safety, and security they deserve.”

The latest edition now has 80 pages, up from its original 38, with the online edition including active web links to local, state, and national resources. Among the updates are:

• Expanded target audience beyond physicians and medical students to include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, midwives, and other clinical providers;

• Easy adaptation and customization for use in other states as well as internationally;

• Content organization to allow attainment and compliance with Massachusetts legislation requiring continuing medical education by health professionals;

• Discussion of the Affordable Care Act and its provisions regarding partner-violence assessment; and

• Expanded sections about the impact of adverse childhood experiences on brain development and adult health.

“Intimate Partner Violence: The Clinician’s Guide to Identification, Assessment, Intervention, and Prevention” is available free online from the Mass. Medical Society under the ‘Partner Violence Resources’ section at Additional free materials on violence, including a series of 10 brochures for parents discussing such topics as bullying, street violence, media violence, dating violence, sexual abuse, and gun injury, are also available at the link.