Navigation Links
Domestic violence victims have higher health costs for years after abuse ends

COLUMBUS, Ohio Victims of domestic violence endure significantly higher health costs than other women for three years after the abuse ends, a new study finds.

Abuse victims had health care costs that averaged more than $1,200 above non-abused women for the first two years after the abuse ended and about $400 above others in the third year.

"Women may continue to experience physical and emotional consequences even years after their abuse ends, and that is reflected in their health care costs," said Amy Bonomi, co-author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.

The study was led by Paul Fishman of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. The study appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and will be published in a future print issue.

The study is the first to look at how health care costs of abused women change from year to year after abuse ends. This study looked at costs during the years of abuse and then during each year up to 10 years later.

The results suggest that domestic abuse acts on health care costs much like chronic health conditions, Bonomi said.

"The prolonged impact of abuse on health care costs is consistent with what we find with people who quit smoking or abusing alcohol or drugs the costs don't go back to normal for years," she said.

The study involved 2,026 women patients at Group Health Cooperative, a health system in the Pacific Northwest. All women in the study consented to giving researchers confidential access to their medical records.

Women in the study were surveyed by telephone about whether they experienced any physical, sexual or psychological abuse from intimate partners, including husbands and boyfriends, since they were 18 years old. Women who indicated any abuse were asked which year each abuse type started and stopped.

In all, 859 women reported some type of abuse in their adult lifetime and 1,167 reported no abuse.

The researchers then looked at the women's health care costs through Group Health from 1992 through 2002. In order to make sure that it was the abuse that was driving the cost differences between abused and non-abused women, the study took into account a wide variety of factors that may also be related, including the women's age, race and ethnicity, education and income, marital and employment status, among other influences.

Of those who reported abuse, about one-quarter said their abuse was "extremely severe," while about 39 percent said their abuse was "not severe" or "slightly severe."

Overall, abused women's health care costs were $585 greater per year than non-abused women during the period of abuse. After the abuse ended, health costs were $1,231 higher in the first year, $1,204 higher the second year, and $444 higher the third year. By the fourth year after abuse, health care costs were similar to that of other women.

Bonomi said the researchers don't have data to explain why health care costs are actually higher for the first two years after abuse ends than they were during the years of abuse. However, she believes she has one possible explanation.

"Women may not be accessing health care services that they should be while they are with an abusive partner. They may fear retaliation, particularly if they are in a controlling relationship."

In addition, women may be more likely to seek mental health services to help them cope once they are free from the abusive relationship.

If anything, Bonomi said the study may underestimate the extra health care costs borne by victims of domestic abuse. Some victims participating in the study may not have admitted to being abused, so were not included among the abuse victims.

Also, the study counts all types of abuse the same from severe physical and sexual abuse to controlling behavior that could qualify as psychological abuse.

"Our findings are conservative; it is likely that the true health care costs for many abused women are higher than what we report," Bonomi said.

Bonomi said the results show that abuse prevention efforts can actually save the health care industry significant amounts of money.

"Victims of abuse require more health care resources for years after their abuse ends. If we can prevent domestic violence, we are not only helping the women involved, we are also saving money in our health care system."


Contact: Amy Bonomi
Ohio State University

Related medicine news :

1. Maryland's Preeminent Domestic Violence Agency Announces New Organizational Changes
2. Advans Survey Reveals that 75 Percent of Executives Prefer Domestic Outsourcing vs. Offshore
3. The Boulevard Zen Foundation Launches Yoga Program for Survivors of Domestic Violence
4. MedQuist Agrees to Purchase Domestic Assets of Spheris
5. SNM applauds US Department of Energys move to develop domestic radioisotope supply
6. ICRW Says to Stop Violence against Women, Aim National Policies at Men
7. Children's National Hosts Fourth Annual Youth Anti-Violence Exhibition
8. Male batterers consistently overestimate rates of violence toward partners
9. The Pentagon Tragedy: Mental Illness, Violence and What Reporters Should Ask
10. Global Aids Alliance Celebrates the Introduction of the International Violence Against Women Act, Urges Swift Passage
11. Violence is part of the job say nurses as study shows only 1 in 6 incidents are reported
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point Rehabilitation, a ... of recent video interviews with some of the staff members at their recovery center. ... treatment facility, as well as some of the things that make their recovery program ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health ... Quality® Bariatric Surgery Facility for treating individuals living with morbid or extreme obesity. ... available to its members to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Exercise and Healthy Aging Program have announced their endorsement of the ... “American Specialty Health Fitness is proud to have the MFN as one of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically ... that revolutionizes the vending machine industry by providing healthy and fresh smoothies on ... says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. "Shakes and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... OR (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dehydration, ... too much body water to perspiration in the hot sun, and heat stroke and ... Fresh water advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne. Every cell, system and structure requires ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Sectra (STO: SECT B) ... into a multi-year agreement to deploy Breast Imaging ... provide the Breast Center a future-proof platform capable of ... SECT B) announces that Breast Center of Acadiana ... Breast Imaging PACS in its two freestanding imaging centers. This ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ASDS ... of Directors has declared a special 1 percent stock dividend ... payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record December 7, ... additional shares of common stock. --> ... a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s growth strategy ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 iRhythm Technologies, Inc. , a leading digital ... that it will participate in the 27th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare ... York, NY . Kevin King , Chief Executive ... 2015 at 8:50am ET. --> ... --> . --> iRhythm is a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: