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Intimate Partner Violence and Disabilities among Women Attending Family Practice Clinics

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paige Hall Smith, Associate Professor and Director of The Center for Women's Health and Wellness (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Purpose: To estimate the frequency and type of disabilities preventing work among those experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) compared with those never experiencing IPV. Methods: We used a large cross-sectional survey of women, ages 18–65, attending family practice clinics from 1997 through 1998. Participation included a 5–10-minute in-clinic survey assessing IPV experience and a longer telephone survey assessing health status and chronic disabilities that prevented work outside the home or housework. Results: Of 1,152 eligible women surveyed, 54% experienced some type of IPV, and 24% were currently in a violent relationship. Women who had ever experienced IPV were more than twice as likely to report a disability (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]  2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6, 3.0). The most commonly reported disabilities were those associated with heart or circulatory disease (4.9%), followed by back problems (3.5%), chronic pain (3.4%), arthritis (3.0%), nerve system damage (2.4%), asthma or another respiratory problem including emphysema (1.7%), and either depression (1.6%) or another mental illness (1.0%). Women ever experiencing IPV were more likely to report a disability due to generalized chronic pain (aOR  2.5, 95% CI 1.5, 4.3) and mental illness (aOR  4.5, 95% CI 1.5, 13.1). IPV-related injuries were associated in a dose-dependent manner with having any disability and with disability from chronic pain, asthma and other respiratory diseases, mental illness, and chronic diseases. Conclusions: Primary care-based efforts to screen for IPV and effectively intervene to reduce the impact of IPV on women’s lives must be a public health priority to reduce the shortterm and long-term health effects, including disabilities.

Additional Information

Publication
Language: English
Date: 2005
Keywords
psychology, disabilities, family practice clinics, women's health, intimate partner violence, public health