Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Screening and Referral Outcomes among Transgender Patients in a Primary Care Setting

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of interpersonal violence








behavioral health; community health centers; integrated primary care; intimate partner violence; transgender health


Transgender patients are at elevated risk of intimate partner violence (IPV), but national guidelines do not recommend routine screening for this population. This paper explores the feasibility and effectiveness of routine IPV screening of transgender patients in a primary care setting by describing an existing screening program and identifying factors associated with referral and engagement in IPV-related care for transgender patients. An IPV "referral cascade" was created for 1,947 transgender primary care patients at an urban community health center who were screened for IPV between January 1, 2014 to May 31, 2016: (a) Of those screening positive, how many were referred? (b) Of those referred, how many engaged in IPV-specific care within 3 months? Logistic regression identified demographic correlates of referral and engagement. Of the 1,947 transgender patients screened for IPV, 227 screened positive. 110/227 (48.5%) were referred to either internal or external IPV-related services. Of those referred to on-site services, 65/103 (63.1%) had an IPV-related appointment within 3 months of a positive screen. IPV referral was associated with being assigned male at birth (AMAB) versus assigned female at birth (AFAB) (AOR = 2.69, 95% CI 1.52, 4.75) and with nonbinary, rather than binary, gender identity (AOR = 2.07, 95%CI 1.09, 3.73). Engagement in IPV-related services was not associated with any measured demographic characteristics. Similar to published rates for cisgender women, half of transgender patients with positive IPV screens received referrals and two-thirds of those referred engaged in IPV-specific care. These findings support routine IPV screening and referral for transgender patients in primary care settings. Provider training should focus on how to ensure referrals are made for all transgender patients who screen positive for IPV, regardless of gender identity, to ensure the benefits of screening accrue equally for all patients.


School of Medicine and Health Sciences Resident Works