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Intimate abuse study finds clear links with poor health and calls for holistic primary care approach
Date:7/6/2009

Nearly a quarter of married and cohabiting women who took part in a survey said that they had been sexually, psychologically or physically abused by their partner, according to research published in the July issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Researchers who studied the 2,746 responses found a clear link between abuse and poor health and are calling for policy initiatives to help primary care nurses tackle the problem in a holistic way.

Questionnaires were mailed to 7,523 randomly selected women aged between 18 and 67 in Iceland and 1,974 married women and 772 cohabiting women (6.5 per cent of the population) responded.

"The data on intimate partner abuse was collected separately from married and cohabiting women because in Iceland women who are married tend to be older and have been in their marital relationship for longer than women who are living with their partner" says lead researcher Professor Erla Kolbrun Svavarsdottir, from the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Iceland.

Key findings of the study included:

  • 18.2 per cent of the respondents had been psychologically abused, 3.3 per cent had been physically abused and 1.3 per cent had been sexually abused.

  • More than 11 per cent said they were frightened by what their partner said or did and more than a third (34 per cent) said that communication between them and their partner was tense.

  • Seven per cent of the married women and nine per cent of the cohabiting women suffered from depression and approximately four per cent in each group reported eating disorders.

  • Eleven per cent of the married women and four per cent of the cohabiting women said that they suffered from fibromyalgia, which can be linked with stress and anxiety and manifests itself in muscle pain, fatigue and sleep problems.

  • The married women had an average age of 47, compared with 35 for the cohabiting women.
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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