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Psychologically abused women experience significant physical and mental health problems

Women experiencing psychological intimate partner violence were more likely to report poor physical and mental health than women who were not abused, according to an article in the May issue of the American Medical Association's Archives of Family Medicine, a member of the JAMA family of journals.

The researchers studied 1,152 women between 18 and 65 years of age to estimate the prevalence of intimate partner violence by type and associated physical health consequences among women seeking primary health care. The authors believe this is the first study to consider the physical health consequences of psychological forms of intimate partner abuse.

The researchers found that at some point in their lives, 53.6 percent of women seeking primary care had experienced some type of partner violence and 13.6 percent had experienced psychological intimate partner violence without physical abuse. Psychological intimate partner violence was associated with disability preventing work, arthritis, chronic pain, migraine and other frequent headaches, stammering, sexually transmitted infections, chronic pelvic pain, stomach ulcers, spastic colon and frequent indigestion, diarrhea or constipation.

"Screening for [intimate partner violence] is not, however, sufficient to reduce the health impact of this violence," the researchers write. "Effective clinical- and community-based interventions are needed to address intimate partner violence in women's lives."

(Archives of Family Medicine. 2000; 9: 451-457)


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Contact: Karen Tant
803-777-5400
Center for the Advancement of Health
13-May-2000


Page: 1

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