To assess rates of substance abuse (including tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse) as well as rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) among African-American women seen in an urban emergency department (ED).
Eligible participants included all African-American women between the ages of 21–55 years old who were seen in an urban ED for any complaint and triaged to the waiting room. Eligible women who consented to participate completed a computer-based survey that focused on demographic information and general health questions, as well as standardized instruments to screen for alcohol abuse, tobacco abuse, and illicit drug use. This analysis uses results from a larger study evaluating the effects of providing patients with targeted educational literature based on the results of their screening.
Six-hundred ten women were surveyed; 430 women reported being in a relationship in the past year and among these, 85 women (20%) screened positive for IPV. Women who screened positive for IPV were significantly more likely to also screen positive for tobacco abuse (56% vs. 37.5%, p< 0.001), alcohol abuse (47.1% vs. 23.2%, p < 0.001), and drug abuse (44.7% vs. 9.5%, p<0.001). Women who screened positive for IPV were also more likely to screen positive for depression and report social isolation.
African-American women seen in the ED, who screen positive for IPV, are at significantly higher risk of drug, alcohol, tobacco abuse, depression and social isolation than women who do not screen positive for IPV. These findings have important implications for ED-based and community-based social services for women who are victims of intimate partner violence.
Intimate partner violence (IPV), defined as actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse by current or former partners is a global public health concern. The prevalence and determinants of intimate partner violence (IPV) against pregnant women has not been described in Rwanda. A study was conducted to identify variables associated with IPV among Rwandan pregnant women.
A convenient sample of 600 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics were administered a questionnaire which included items on demographics, HIV status, IPV, and alcohol use by the male partner. Mean age and proportions of IPV in different groups were assessed. Odds of IPV were estimated using logistic regression analysis.
Of the 600 respondents, 35.1% reported IPV in the last 12 months. HIV+ pregnant women had higher rates of all forms of IVP violence than HIV- pregnant women: pulling hair (44.3% vs. 20.3%), slapping (32.0% vs. 15.3%), kicking with fists (36.3% vs. 19.7%), throwing to the ground and kicking with feet (23.3% vs. 12.7%), and burning with hot liquid (4.1% vs. 3.5%). HIV positive participants were more than twice likely to report physical IPV than those who were HIV negative (OR = 2.38; 95% CI [1.59, 3.57]). Other factors positively associated with physical IPV included sexual abuse before the age of 14 years (OR = 2.69; 95% CI [1.69, 4.29]), having an alcohol drinking male partner (OR = 4.10; 95% CI [2.48, 6.77] for occasional drinkers and OR = 3.37; 95% CI [2.05, 5.54] for heavy drinkers), and having a male partner with other sexual partners (OR = 1.53; 95% CI [1.15, 2.20]. Education was negatively associated with lifetime IPV.
We have reported on prevalence of IPV violence among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Rwanda, Central Africa. We advocate that screening for IPV be an integral part of HIV and AIDS care, as well as routine antenatal care. Services for battered women should also be made available.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) victims often seek care in the ED, whether for an injury from abuse or other sequelae such as mental health symptoms.
The objective of the study was to assess whether depressive symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidality were associated with physical, sexual, or emotional IPV in African American female ED patients and to determine if experiencing multiple types of abuse was associated with increased mental health symptoms.
All eligible African American female patients were approached in the ED waiting room during study periods. Patients participated in the screening process via a computer kiosk. Questions regarding IPV and mental health symptoms were asked using validated tools.
In this prospective cohort, 569 participated and 36% of those in a relationship in the past year (n = 461) disclosed that there were victims of IPV in the past year. In the past year, 22% experienced recent physical abuse, 9% recent sexual abuse, and 32% recent emotional abuse. A Pearson correlation was conducted and showed that all mental health symptoms were positively correlated with each type of IPV and each type of mental health symptom category. Mental health symptoms increased significantly with amount of abuse: depression (odds ratio [OR], 5.9 for 3 types of abuse), PTSD (OR, 9.4 for 3), and suicidality (OR, 17.5 for 3).
Emotional, sexual, and physical IPV were significantly associated with mental health symptoms. Each type of abuse was independently associated with depression, suicidality, and PTSD. Experiencing more than 1 type of abuse was also correlated with increased mental health symptoms.
To estimate prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) according to two abuse ascertainment tools, and agreement between the tools.
2504 women randomly selected from a health maintenance organization were asked about IPV exposure in their most recent intimate relationship using five questions on physical and sexual abuse, and fear due to partner's threats and controlling behavior from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) and 10 questions from the Women's Experience with Battering (WEB) scale. IPV prevalence was estimated according to the BRFSS and WEB, and the proportion of women who were WEB+/BRFSS+, WEB−/BRFSS−, WEB−/BRFSS+, and WEB+/BRFSS−.
In their most recent relationship, 14.7% of women reported abuse of any type on the BRFSS versus 7.0% on the WEB scale. In direct comparisons of the WEB and BRFSS questions, a higher percentage of abused women reported any IPV on the five BRFSS questions (88.4%) compared to the 10 WEB questions (42.0%). However, both the BRFSS and WEB identified some women as abused that would have been missed by the other instrument.
Intimate partner violence prevalence depends on how women are asked about abuse. Resources permitting, more than one abuse ascertainment strategy (for example, both the BRFSS and WEB questions) should be tried in order to broadly identify as many women as possible who interpret themselves as abused.
intimate partner violence; domestic violence; assessment; prevalence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) can result in significant harm to women and families and is especially prevalent when women are pregnant or recent mothers. Maternal and child health nurses (MCHN) in Victoria, Australia are community-based nurse/midwives who see over 95% of all mothers with newborns. MCHN are in an ideal position to identify and support women experiencing IPV, or refer them to specialist family violence services. Evidence for IPV screening in primary health care is inconclusive to date. The Victorian government recently required nurses to screen all mothers when babies are four weeks old, offering an opportunity to examine the effectiveness of MCHN IPV screening practices. This protocol describes the development and design of MOVE, a study to examine IPV screening effectiveness and the sustainability of screening practice.
MOVE is a cluster randomised trial of a good practice model of MCHN IPV screening involving eight maternal and child health nurse teams in Melbourne, Victoria. Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) was incorporated into the design, implementation and evaluation of the MOVE trial to enhance and evaluate sustainability. Using NPT, the development stage combined participatory action research with intervention nurse teams and a systematic review of nurse IPV studies to develop an intervention model incorporating consensus guidelines, clinical pathway and strategies for individual nurses, their teams and family violence services. Following twelve months’ implementation, primary outcomes assessed include IPV inquiry, IPV disclosure by women and referral using data from MCHN routine data collection and a survey to all women giving birth in the previous eight months. IPV will be measured using the Composite Abuse Scale. Process and impact evaluation data (online surveys and key stakeholders interviews) will highlight NPT concepts to enhance sustainability of IPV identification and referral. Data will be collected again in two years.
MOVE will be the first randomised trial to determine IPV screening effectiveness in a community based nurse setting and the first to examine sustainability of an IPV screening intervention. It will further inform the debate about the effectiveness of IPV screening and describe IPV prevalence in a community based post-partum and early infant population.
Intimate partner violence; Screening; Cluster randomised controlled trial; Maternal and child health nurse
OBJECTIVES: Little research has addressed differences in health care expenditures among women who are currently experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) compared with those who are not. The purpose of this work is to provide estimates of direct medical expenditure for physician, drug, and hospital utilization among Medicaid-eligible women who screened as currently experiencing IPV compared with those who are not currently experiencing IPV. METHODS: In this family practice-based cross-sectional study, women were screened for current IPV using a 15-item Index of Spouse Abuse-Physical (ISA-P) between 1997 and 1998. Consents were obtained from study subjects to review Medicaid expenditure and utilization data for the same time period. RESULTS: Mean physician, hospital, and total expenditures were higher for those women with higher IPV scores compared with those who scored as not currently experiencing IPV, after adjusting for confounders. Higher IPV scores were associated with a three-fold increased risk of having a total expenditure over $5,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 8.4). The mean total expenditure difference between the high IPV and no IPV groups was $1,064 (95% CI $623, $1506). The adjusted risk ratio for high IPV score and the log of total Medicaid expenditures was 2.3 (95% CI 1.2, 4.4). CONCLUSIONS: Women screened as experiencing higher IPV scores had higher Medicaid expenditures compared with women not currently experiencing IPV. Early IPV assessment partnered with effective clinic or community-based interventions may help to identify IPV earlier and reduce the health impact and cost of IPV.
To assess how physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV), child abuse, and community violence relate to long-term mental and physical problems; to examine the overlap between different forms of violence and the impact of experiencing multiple forms of violence.
Three general internal medicine practices affiliated with an academic medical center.
English-speaking women aged 25 to 60.
Telephone or in-person interview and chart review.
One hundred seventy-four women completed interviews. A majority of participants experienced more than one form of violence. In separate multivariate analyses, each form of violence was associated with depressive symptoms or with at least 6 chronic physical symptoms, after adjustment for demographic factors and substance abuse. The degree of association with health outcomes was similar for each form of violence (odds ratio [OR], 2.4 to 3.9; P < .003). The association with chronic physical symptoms remained significant for IPV (OR, 3.3; P < .002) and community violence (OR, 3.4; P < .003), even after adjustment for depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. There were dose-response relationships between the number of forms of violence experienced and the odds of depressive symptoms and the odds of multiple chronic physical symptoms.
Multiple types of victimizations may contribute to patients’ current mental health and physical problems. Research or clinical protocols that only focus on one form of violence may underestimate the complexity of women's experiences and needs.
intimate partner violence; sexual assault; child abuse; depression; physical symptoms
Although reducing intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive public health problem, few longitudinal studies in developing countries have assessed ways to end such abuse. To this end, this paper aims to analyze individual, family, community and societal factors that facilitate reducing IPV.
A longitudinal population-based study was conducted in León, Nicaragua at a demographic surveillance site. Women (n = 478) who were pregnant between 2002 and 2003 were interviewed, and 398 were found at follow-up, 2007. Partner abuse was measured using the WHO Multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence questionnaire. Women's socio demographic variables, perceived emotional distress, partner control, social resources, women's norms and attitudes towards IPV and help-seeking behaviours were also assessed. Ending of abuse was defined as having experienced any abuse in a lifetime or during pregnancy but not at follow-up. Crude and adjusted odds ratios were applied.
Of the women exposed to lifetime or pregnancy IPV, 59% reported that their abuse ended. This finding took place in a context of a substantial shift in women's normative attitudes towards not tolerating abuse. At the family level, no or diminishing partner control [ORadj 6.7 (95%CI 3.5-13)] was associated with ending of abuse. At the societal level, high or improved social resources [ORadj 2.0 (95%CI 1.1.-3.7)] were also associated with the end of abuse.
A considerable proportion of women reported end of violence. This might be related to a favourable change in women's norms and attitudes toward gender roles and violence and a more positive attitude towards interventions from people outside their family to end abuse. Maintaining and improving social resources and decreasing partner control and isolation are key interventions to ending abuse. Abuse inquiring may also play an important role in this process and must include health care provider's training and a referral system to be more effective. Interventions at the community level are crucial to reducing partner violence.
To determine the different responses adopted by women in Spain who are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV); identify the different sociodemographic profiles associated with each response; analyse the factors contributing to adopting a response; and study the association between the different types of response and the different types of IPV.
Cross sectional study.
23 volunteer general practices in Spain.
1402 randomly selected women.
Main outcome measure
Women's response to IPV: none, partner separation, reporting the case to the police, seeking help from healthcare professionals and seeking help from associations for battered women.
Lifetime prevalence of any type of IPV (physical, psychological, and/or sexual) was 32%. Sixty three per cent of abused women took some kind of action to overcome IPV. Women who separated from their partners were mostly younger, with a smaller number of children and higher income and educational levels, compared with those abused women who reported the abuse to the police or sought help from healthcare professionals or associations for battered women. Independent factors associated with presenting a response to IPV were: being separated/divorced/widowed, having social support, having experienced IPV frequently, and having experienced physical and psychological abuse (compared with psychological abuse alone). Women who experienced the three types of abuse were also more likely to respond to violence.
Identifying the factors that have an influence on the response adopted by abused women allows us to better understand the support needed by them to abandon an abusive relationship.
domestic violence; spouse abuse; women; attitude
Intimate partner violence and abuse (IPV/A) have been shown to have a major impact on mental health functioning. This study assessed the longitudinal association between recent IPV/A and depressive symptoms in order to identify potential targets for preventive interventions for women. Random effects models were used to examine four waves of data collected at 6-month intervals from a cohort of 1438 female healthcare workers. Recent IPV/A (e.g., sexual and physical violence, psychological abuse) in the past 5 years was associated with higher CES-D 10 scores across 4 waves after adjustment for age, time, marital status, and childhood trauma. Women who reported IPV/A in the past 5 years had higher CES-D 10 scores (β 1.31, 95% CI .79-1.82, p<.0001) than non-abused women. This association was generally constant with time, suggestive of a cross-sectional association across all four waves of data. Additionally, recent IPV/A was associated with change in depressive symptoms over time among the full cohort and those with CES-D 10 scores below 10 (the threshold for likely depression) at baseline. Recent IPV/A was independently associated with depressive symptoms both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The longitudinal association was stronger among those not depressed at baseline. Implications for healthcare settings and workplace policies addressing IPV/A are discussed.
Relationships have both positive and negative dimensions, yet most research in the area of intimate partner violence (IPV) has focused on social support, and not on social conflict. Based on the data from 309 English-speaking Canadian women who experienced IPV in the past 3 years and were no longer living with the abuser, we tested four hypotheses examining the relationships among severity of past IPV and women's social support, social conflict, and health. We found that the severity of past IPV exerted direct negative effects on women's health. Similarly, both social support and social conflict directly influenced women's health. Social conflict, but not social support, mediated the relationships between IPV severity and health. Finally, social conflict moderated the relationships between social support and women's health, such that the positive effects of social support were attenuated in the presence of high levels of social conflict. These findings highlight that routine assessments of social support and social conflict and the use of strategies to help women enhance support and reduce conflict in their relationships are essential aspects of nursing care.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the previous five years among women reporting activity limitations (AL).
Design and setting: A community based, representative telephone survey of Canadians aged 15 and over. AL was assessed by the question: "Does a long term physical or mental condition or health problem reduce the amount or the kind of activity that you can do at home, at school, at work or in other activities?" Response categories were: often, sometimes, or never.
Participants: 8771 women who had a current/former partner of whom 1483 reported AL.
Main results: IPV was reported more often for AL (often or sometimes) compared with no AL women (emotional abuse (27.1, 26.4 v 17.7%, p<0.0001), physical—severe (7.3, 6.7 v 3.6%, p<0.0001), sexual abuse (3.5, 3.6 v 1.4%, p<0.0001)), or any IPV (30.5, 27.8 v 19.6%, p<0.0001). Adjusting for age, marital status, education, income, employment, children in the household, Aboriginal or visible minority status, place of birth, urban or rural residence, region of Canada, time in current residence, and religious attendance, AL women had higher odds of IPV (adjusted odds ratio: AL often = 2.12; 95% CI: 1.64, 2.74; AL sometimes: OR = 1.64; 95% CI:1.40, 2.29).
Conclusion: These findings call for increased recognition of violence that occurs in the lives of women with AL. This community based study suggests that abuse among those reporting AL is high. Women with AL represent a high risk group to be targeted in terms of IPV prevention and intervention.
Intimate partner violence against women is prevalent and is associated with poor health outcomes. Understanding indicators of exposure to intimate partner violence can assist health care professionals to identify and respond to abused women. This study was undertaken to determine the strength of association between selected evidence-based risk indicators and exposure to intimate partner violence.
In this cross-sectional study of 768 English-speaking women aged 18–64 years who presented to 2 emergency departments in Ontario, Canada, participants answered questions about risk indicators and completed the Composite Abuse Scale to determine their exposure to intimate partner violence in the past year.
Intimate partner violence was significantly associated with being separated, in a common-law relationship or single (odds ratio [OR] = 2.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.17–3.71); scoring positive for depression (OR = 4.26, 95% CI 2.11–8.60) or somatic symptoms (OR = 4.09, 95% CI 2.18–7.67); having a male partner who was employed less than part time (OR = 5.12, 95% CI 2.46–10.64), or having a partner with an alcohol (OR = 4.36, 95% CI 2.16–8.81) or drug problem (OR = 4.63, 95% CI 1.89–11.38). Each unit increase in the number of indicators corresponded to a four-fold increase in the risk of intimate partner violence (OR = 3.92, 95% CI 3.06–5.02); women with 3 or more indicators had a greater than 50% probability of a positive score on the Composite Abuse Scale. Intimate partner violence was not associated with pregnancy status.
Specific characteristics of male partners, relationships and women’s mental health are significantly related to exposure to intimate partner violence in the past year. Identification of these indicators has implications for the clinical care of women who present to health care settings.
This study examined patterns of nine types of violence against women (VAW) and associated mental health problems. The following self-reported, lifetime violence victimization was examined among 1424 employed women: (1) childhood physical abuse, (2) childhood sexual abuse, (3) physical abuse between parents/guardians during childhood, (4) psychological intimate partner violence (IPV), (5) physical IPV, (6) sexual IPV, (7) adult physical or sexual assault by a non-intimate partner, (8) physical workplace violence, and (9) psychological workplace violence. Latent class analysis was used to identify homogenous patterns, called “classes,” of women's “yes/no” responses to experiencing these types of violence. The best model consisted of 4-classes characterized by the following probabilities: low violence (class 1: 63.1%), high psychological and physical IPV (class 2: 15.6%), high physical and psychological workplace violence (class 3: 12.4%), and moderate to high childhood abuse (class 4: 9.0%). When compared to class 1 (low violence), membership in classes 2 (IPV) and 4 (childhood abuse) was associated with screening positive for depression in the past week at baseline after controlling for the influence of demographic characteristics on class membership. Also, when compared to class 1 (low all), membership in class 2 (IPV) was associated with greater odds of screening positive for posttraumatic stress disorder in the past month at the six month follow-up assessment. Findings document distinct patterns of VAW and associated proximal and distal mental health outcomes. Implications for interventions aimed to improve employed women's health are discussed.
childhood abuse; intimate partner violence; workplace violence; posttraumatic stress; depression
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important issue with far-reaching health consequences. This study investigates the utility of STaT, a three-question IPV screening tool, for recent IPV identification in a sample of adult women in an innercity urgent care clinic. STaT score was calculated as the total number of affirmative responses to the three questions. Efficacy of STaT as an IPV screen was estimated by computing the sensitivity and specificity at possible cut points, based on participant's STaT score, and using Index of Spouse Abuse scores as a comparison standard. The sensitivities of STaT were 94.9%, 84.8% and 62% with the cut points set at scores of 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Thus, with the criterion for a positive screen set at a cut-point score of 1, STaT can be used to facilitate the identification of abused women in busy public healthcare settings.
This two-part study examines primary care clinicians' chart documentation and attitudes when confronted by a positive waiting room screen for intimate partner violence (IPV).
Patients at community hospital-affiliated health centers completed a screening questionnaire in waiting rooms that primary care providers (PCPs) were subsequently given at the time of the visit. We first reviewed the medical records of patients who screened positive for IPV, evaluating the presence and quality of documentation. Next we administered a survey to PCPs that measured their knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding IPV.
Seventy-two percent of charts contained some documentation of IPV, however only 10% contained both a referral and safety plan. PCPs were more likely to refer patients (p < .05) who screened positively for mood or anxiety disorders, disclosed that they feared for their safety or were economically disadvantaged. Those that feared for their safety or endorsed mood or anxiety disorders were more likely to have notation of a safety plan in their records. When surveyed, 81.6% of clinicians strongly agreed that it is their role to inquire about IPV, but only 68% expressed confidence in their ability to manage it. In contrast, 93% expressed confidence in managing depression. Sixty-seven percent identified time constraints as a barrier to care. Predictors of PCP confidence in treating patients who have experienced IPV (p < .05) included hours of recent training and clinical experience with IPV.
Mandatory waiting room screening for IPV does not result in high levels of referral or safety planning by PCPs. Despite the implementation of a screening process, clinicians lack confidence and time to address IPV in their patient populations suggesting that alternative methods of training and supporting PCPs need to be developed.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health problem in Africa and worldwide. HIV infected women face increased IPV risk. We assessed the prevalence and factors associated with IPV among HIV infected women attending HIV care in Kabale hospital, Uganda.
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 317 HIV infected women attending Kabale regional hospital HIV treatment centre, from March to December 2010. Participants were interviewed using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data was collected on socio-demographic variables, social habits, and IPV (using the abuse assessment screen and the Severity of Violence against Women Scale to identify physical, sexual and psychological violence). Characteristics of the participants who reported IPV were compared with those who did not. Multivariate logistic-regression analysis was conducted to analyze factors that were independently associated with IPV.
The mean age of 317 respondents was 29.7 years. Twenty two (6.9%) were adolescents and 233 (73.5%) were married or cohabiting. The mean age of the spouse was 33.0 years.
One hundred and eleven (35.0%) were currently on antiretroviral therapy. Lifetime prevalence of IPV (physical or sexual) was 36.6%. In the preceding 12 months, IPV (any type) was reported by 93 respondents (29.3%). This was physical for 55 (17.6%), and sexual /psychological for 38 (12.1%). On multivariate multinomial logistic regression analysis, there was a significant but inverse association between education level and physical partner violence (adjusted relative risk (ARR) 0.50, confidence limits (95% CI) 0.31-0.82, p-value = 0.007). There was a significant but inverse association between education level of respondent and sexual/psychological violence (ARR 0.47 95%CI (0.25-0.87), p-value = 0.017) Likewise, there was a significant inverse association between the education level of the spouse and psychological/sexual violence (ARR 0.57, 95% CI 0.25-0.90, p-value = 0.018). Use of antiretroviral therapy was associated with increased prevalence of any type of violence (physical, sexual or psychological) with ARR 3.04 (95%CI 1.15-8.45, p-value = 0.032).
Almost one in three women living with HIV had suffered intimate partner violence in the preceding 12 months. Nearly one in five HIV patients reported physical violence, and about one in every seven HIV patients reported sexual/psychological violence. Likewise, women who were taking antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment were more likely to report any type of intimate partner violence (physical, sexual or psychological). The implication of these findings is that women living with HIV especially those on antiretroviral drugs should be routinely screened for intimate partner violence.
This study investigated the relationship between growing up in a violent home and developmental trajectories of body mass index (BMI) in a cohort of adolescents followed longitudinally from 1996 to 2003-4.
6,043 girls and 4,934 boys aged 9–14 years in 1996 who reported height and weight at least two times and whose mothers completed intimate partner violence (IPV) questions at the 2001 Nurses’ Health Study. Main exposure was experiencing the first family violence during early (0–5 years) or later (6–11 years) childhood, based on mother’s year-specific exposure of IPV and the birth year of each participant. Mother’s report of IPV was ascertained by the abuse assessment screen. Four distinct BMI trajectory groups were estimated from age-specific BMI (age 12–20 years), using general growth mixture modeling.
Four distinct BMI trajectories were identified separately for girls and boys: healthy growth; healthy to obese; steady overweight and consistently obese. Compared with boys not exposed to violence at home, boys raised in violent homes before 5 years were at increased risk of being in the consistently obese (OR =2.0; 95% CI 1.2 to 3.5) and steady overweight (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1 to 1.9) groups after adjusting for confounders. Girls raised in violent homes were more likely to be in the steady overweight group, but associations did not maintain statistical significance after adjusting for confounding.
These data link children’s exposure to domestic violence to a risk of unhealthy weight trajectories during adolescence in boys. Detrimental effects of exposure to a domestic violence environment may take root in the first few years of development for boys.
We assessed the correlation between intimate partner violence (IPV) and health behaviors, including seat belt use, smoke alarm in home, handgun access, body mass index, diet, and exercise. We hypothesized that IPV victims would be less likely to have healthy behaviors as compared to women with similar demographics.
All adult female patients who presented to 3 Atlanta-area emergency department waiting rooms on weekdays from 11AM to 7PM were asked to participate in a computer-based survey by trained research assistants. The Universal Violence Prevention Screen was used for IPV identification. The survey also assessed seatbelt use, smoke alarm presence, handgun access, height, weight, exercise, and diet. We used chi-square tests of association, odds ratios, and independent t-tests to measure associations between variables.
Participants ranged from 18 to 68 years, with a mean of 38 years. Out of 1,452 respondents, 155 patients self-identified as white (10.7%), and 1,218 as black (83.9%); 153 out of 832 women who were in a relationship in the prior year (18.4%) screened positive for IPV. We found significant relationships between IPV and not wearing a seatbelt (p<0.01), handgun access (p<0.01), and eating unhealthy foods (p<0.01).
Women experiencing IPV are more likely to exhibit risky health behaviors than women who are not IPV victims.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is described by the American Medical Association as "a pattern of coercive behaviors that may include repeated battering and injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, deprivation, and intimidation." The long-term consequences of IPV include health risks, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and staggering economic costs for health care of victims. Intimate partner violence is often underreported among women who seek medical attention. The current study seeks to address the issue of possible underreporting of IPV in orthopaedic fracture clinics by establishing prevalence rates of IPV among women seeking treatment for musculoskeletal injuries.
We propose a cross-sectional multicenter study wherein 3,600 women will complete a self-reported written questionnaire across clinical sites in North America, Europe, and Australia. Recruitment of participants will take place at orthopaedic fracture clinics at each clinical site. The questionnaire will contain a validated set of questions used to screen for IPV, as well as questions that pertain to the participant's demographic, injury characteristics, and experiences with health care utilization. Female patients presenting to the orthopaedic fracture clinics will complete two validated self-reported written questionnaires (Woman Abuse Screening Tool (WAST) and the Partner Violence Screen (PVS)) to determine the prevalence of IPV in the past 12 months and in their lifetime. The two questionnaires were designed for rapid assessment of IPV status in emergency departments, family practice, and women's health clinics that we believe are similar to our intended setting of an orthopaedic clinic.
If the prevalence of IPV among women attending orthopaedic clinics is greater than the current perceptions of orthopaedic surgeons, this study will serve to advocate for the continued education of medical professionals to better recognize probable IPV cases and offer existing services to enhance the care of these patients.
After completing this article, readers should:
Know the prevalence of intimate partner violence and childhood exposure to intimate partner violenceIdentify risk factors associated with intimate partner violence.Understand that child maltreatment is significantly more likely in the setting of intimate partner violence.Recognize the impact of intimate partner violence exposure on children's social-emotional and physical health, and on their health care use.Understand strategies for screening and responding to intimate partner violence in the pediatric setting
You are seeing a healthy, previously full-term 4 month old for well child care. As a part of your routine social history, you inquire about intimate partner violence (IPV). The infant's mother discloses that her partner frequently yells at her, pushes her and makes her feel afraid. Upon further questioning, you find that she describes the infant as “fussy.” His physical exam is unremarkable, but you note that he missed his two month visit and is behind on his immunizations. How do you proceed?
intimate partner violence; child maltreatment; screening
Measurements of intimate partner violence (IPV) based on acts of violence have repeatedly found substantial bilateral violence between intimates. However, the context of this violence is not well defined by acts alone. The objective of this research was to compare differences in women and men within each IPV status category (victim, perpetrator, and both) with respect to levels of battering as defined by their scores on the Women’s Experience With Battering Scale (WEB), which asks gender-neutral questions about the abuse of power and control and fear in an intimate relationship. In our study, women disclosed higher levels of battering on the WEB, despite IPV status (victimization or both victimization and perpetration). In addition, female IPV victims were 5 times more likely than their male counterparts to disclose high rates of battering on the WEB. Depressive symptoms, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, African American race, and IPV victimization were independently associated with higher WEB scores.
intimate partner violence; victim; perpetrator; battering; mental health; Women’s Experience With Battering Scale
This study investigated whether disclosure of violence to health care providers and the receipt of interventions relate to women’s exit from an abusive relationship and to their improved health.
A volunteer sample of 132 women outpatients who described intimate partner violence during the preceding year were recruited from multiple hospital departments and community agencies in suburban and urban metropolitan Boston. Through in-person interviews, women provided information on demographics, past year exposure to violence, past year receipt of interventions, and whether they disclosed partner violence to their health care provider. They also described their past month health status with the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey and further questions.
Of the 132 women, 44% had exited the abusive relationship. Among those who were no longer with their partner, 55% received a domestic violence intervention (e.g. advocacy, shelter, restraining order), compared with 37% of those who remained with their partner. Talking to their health care provider about the abuse increased women’s likelihood of using an intervention (odds ratio [OR]=3.9). Those who received interventions were more likely to subsequently exit (OR=2.6) and women no longer with the abuser reported better physical health based on SF-12 summary scores (p=0.05) than women who stayed.
Health care providers may make positive contributions to women’s access to intimate partner violence services. Intimate partner violence interventions relate to women’s reduced exposure to violence and better health.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is prevalent globally, experienced by a significant minority of women in the early childbearing years and is harmful to the mental and physical health of women and children. There are very few studies with rigorous designs which have tested the effectiveness of IPV interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of abused women. Evidence for the separate benefit to victims of social support, advocacy and non-professional mentoring suggested that a combined model may reduce the levels of violence, the associated mental health damage and may increase a woman's health, safety and connection with her children. This paper describes the development, design and implementation of a trial of mentor mother support set in primary care, including baseline characteristics of participating women.
MOSAIC (MOtherS' Advocates In the Community) was a cluster randomised trial embedded in general practice and maternal and child health (MCH) nursing services in disadvantaged suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Women who were pregnant or with infants, identified as abused or symptomatic of abuse, were referred by IPV-trained GPs and MCH nurses from 24 general practices and eight nurse teams from January 2006 to December 2007. Women in the intervention arm received up to 12 months support from trained and supported non-professional mentor mothers. Vietnamese health professionals also referred Vietnamese women to bilingual mentors in a sub-study. Baseline and follow-up surveys at 12 months measured IPV (CAS), depression (EPDS), general health (SF-36), social support (MOS-SF) and attachment to children (PSI-SF). Significant development and piloting occurred prior to trial commencement. Implementation interviews with MCH nurses, GPs and mentors assisted further refinement of the intervention. In-depth interviews with participants and mentors, and follow-up surveys of MCH nurses and GPs at trial conclusion will shed further light on MOSAIC's impact.
Despite significant challenges, MOSAIC will make an important contribution to the need for evidence of effective partner violence interventions, the role of non-professional mentors in partner violence support services and the need for more evaluation of effective health professional training and support in caring for abused women and children among their populations.
To examine the change in women’s self-reported physical symptoms over 2 time points in relation to intimate partner violence (IPV) exposure.
Prospective interview study of 267 women recruited from 8 health care settings and surrounding communities in Metropolitan Boston.
We created sums of somatic symptoms at 2 separate time points (a mean of 9.5 months apart) using items from a modified PHQ-15. A measure of symptom change was computed to measure the net change in symptoms over time. A negative score indicated reduction in total symptoms, or improvement. Exposure to IPV was measured at both time points.
Women who reported ongoing IPV across both time points experienced an increase in their overall physical symptoms compared to women with past abuse (p = .0054) and no abuse (p = .0006). In multivariate regression analysis, ongoing IPV at both time points was a statistically significant predictor of symptom change. This relationship persisted even after controlling for age, race, education, depression, self-report of co-morbid illness, and history of child abuse and prior sexual assault (p = .0076).
Women exposed to ongoing IPV report increased physical symptoms over time. Clinicians should consider the possibility of IPV in patients who remain persistently symptomatic over time in addition to employing more traditional means of detecting IPV.
intimate partner violence; physical symptoms