Advocacy Group Uses AHRQ Tool to Assess Domestic and Family Violence Programs
The Family Violence Prevention Fund, an advocacy group working to prevent violence against women and children, has posted on its Web site both AHRQ's Delphi Instrument for Hospital-Based Domestic Violence Programs and an adaptation of that tool, the Family Violence Quality Assessment Tool for Primary Care Offices. Both tools are designed to assess domestic and family violence programs that are based at health care facilities.
The Delphi Instrument, developed by Jeffrey Coben, MD, can be used to evaluate and track the progress of hospitals' efforts to respond to domestic violence. Coben developed the Delphi Instrument while serving as AHRQ's Domestic Violence Senior Scholar-in-Residence.
By modifying the Delphi Instrument, the primary care tool was developed by Therese Zink, MD, MPH, currently a member of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota. This tool is intended for use by a range of primary care offices, including pediatric, family medicine, internal medicine, and obstetrics/gynecology practices.
The primary care tool was developed using the Delphi process of consensus. A national panel of family violence experts reviewed the Delphi Instrument and made suggestions for its modification for use in primary care settings in which a range of patients are treated. Primary care providers need to determine if family violence (including child abuse, intimate partner abuse, elder abuse, and sexual assault) is a factor in their patients' lives.
For more than two decades, the Family Violence Prevention Fund has worked to prevent violence within the home and in the community, and to help those whose lives are affected by violence. It played a key role in developing the Violence Against Women Act, enacted by Congress in 1994.