Paramedic identification and management of victims of intimate partner violence: A literature review


emergency medical services
emergency medical technicians
domestic violence
spouse abuse
intimate partner violence

How to Cite

Mackey B. Paramedic identification and management of victims of intimate partner violence: A literature review. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2017Nov.5 [cited 2023Feb.6];14(4). Available from:



Intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs between adults of the same or opposite sex in a current, or past, intimate relationship. The aim of this paper is to review the literature regarding paramedic confidence, capacity and accuracy when identifying adult victims of IPV and subsequent management of the scene when IPV is suspected or identified.


A review of the literature using Ovid MEDLINE was conducted; five articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. 


Results show a consistency in findings across research areas in Australia, Canada and the United States and are clear in four separate areas: paramedics demonstrate a high degree of accuracy in identifying IPV victims; professional training effectively increases paramedic knowledge of IPV; greater than 50% of the paramedic population surveyed felt underprepared to deal with an IPV scene; and the majority of surveyed paramedics attend between one and 10 IPV scenes per year.


This review indicates that paramedics have the capacity to accurately identify IPV victims, and that paramedics recognise a deficit in their professional IPV training. Further research is required, using a robust sample size, to construct appropriate training packages and guide improvement to paramedic clinical practice guidelines.


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