Intimate partner violence, mental health disorders, and sexually transmitted infections: important screening opportunities for pediatric healthcare providers.
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This article addresses three critical areas where pediatric healthcare providers must employ effective screening techniques to ensure the best care for patients: intimate partner violence (IPV), mental health issues, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).IPV is now recognized as an important issue impacting the health of children. While long-term outcomes secondary to positive screening results are not known, routine, sensitive questioning can identify at-risk children and help connect families to resources in the community. Routine use of validated screening tools for mental health disorders (MHDs) in the office setting is now recommended. STIs disproportionately affect adolescents and young adults, yet timely diagnosis is often challenging because infections are frequently asymptomatic and adolescents may not be forthcoming about risk-taking behaviors. There is significant opportunity for pediatricians to improve screening rates of adolescents.Screening is an essential aspect of healthcare for pediatricians. An understanding of current screening recommendations for IPV, MHDs, and STIs will assist providers in earlier detection of medical problems in their patients and will likely improve patient outcomes.