Recognizing and responding to intimate partner violence using Telehealth: practical guidance for nurses and midwives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Susan M. Jack
  • Michelle L. Munro‐kramer
  • Jessica Roberts Williams
  • Donna Schminkey
  • Elizabeth Tomlinson
  • Larissa Jennings Mayo‐wilson
  • Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • School of Nursing McMaster University Hamilton Ontario Canada
  • School of Nursing University of Michigan Ann Arbor Michigan USA
  • School of Nursing University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina USA
  • School of Nursing College of Health and Behavioral Studies James Madison University Harrisonburg Virginia USA
  • Department of Nursing North Carolina Central University Durham North Carolina USA
  • School of Public Health Indiana University Bloomington Indiana USA
  • School of Nursing Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland USA


Aims: This paper synthesizes current, global evidence‐informed guidance that supports nurses and midwives to recognize and respond to intimate partner violence (IPV), and how these practices can be translated from face‐to‐face encounters, to care that is delivered through telehealth.

Background: COVID‐19 related social and physical distancing measures increase the risk for individuals who are socially isolated with partners who perpetuate violence. Providing support through telehealth is one strategy that can mitigate the pandemic of IPV, while helping patients and providers stay safe from COVID‐19.

Design and Methods: In this discursive paper, we describe how practical guidance for safely recognizing and responding to IPV in telehealth encounters was developed. The ADAPT‐ITT (Assessment, Decisions, Administration, Production, Topical Experts, Integration, Testing, Training) framework was used to guide the novel identification and adaptation of evidence‐informed. We focused on the first six stages of the ADAPT‐ITT framework.

Conclusions: This paper fills a gap in available guidance, specifically for IPV recognition and response via telehealth. We present strategies for prioritizing safety and promoting privacy while initiating, managing, or terminating a telehealth encounter with patients who may be at risk for or experiencing IPV. Strategies for assessment, planning, and intervention are also summarized. System level responses, such as increasing equitable access to telecommunication technology are also discussed.

Relevance to clinical practice: Integrating innovative IPV‐focused practices into telehealth care is an important opportunity for nurses and midwives during the current global COVID‐19 pandemic. There are also implications for future secondary outbreaks, natural disasters, or other physically isolating events, for improving healthcare efficiency, and for addressing the needs of vulnerable populations with limited access to healthcare.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Early online date3 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2020


  • guidance, intimate partner violence, mobile health, nursing, quality assurance, health care, referral and consultation, screening, telehealth