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

Their marriages had lasted an average of 26 years, compared with the cohabiting women, whose relationships had lasted an average of just over ten years.

  • Most of the women worked full or part-time (87 per cent of the married women and 88 per cent of the cohabiting women) and had one to three children (65 per cent of the married women and 75 per cent of the cohabiting women).

    "Most of the health studies to date have focused on people with specific issues, like injuries resulting from intimate partner abuse, and we were keen to find out more about the problems faced by the general population" says Professor Svavarsdottir.

    "The important thing about this study is that it looked at intimate partner abuse in conjunction with a range of health factors to determine the relationship between abuse and ill health."

    These showed that:

    • Sleep disturbance, depression, alcohol misuse and abuse in their current relationship accounted for a 15 per cent of the variance in the women's physical health.

    • Sleep disturbance, depression, eating disorders, smoking, marital status and abuse in their current relationship accounted for a 49 per cent variance in the women's psychological health.

    "Our research clearly shows that intimate partner abuse can have a number of physical and psychological side effects and it is important that healthcare professionals are aware of these when they are treating patients" concludes co-author Dr Brynja Orlygsdottir.

    "Tackling the issues of intimate partner abuse could also help to address the tragic short and long-term impact that such abuse has on women's lives and their health.

    "We believe that public health policy has a key role to play in identifying victims of intimate partner abuse and supporting nurses so that they can offer appropriate interventions in primary healthcare settings."


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  • Contact: Annette Whibley
    wizard.media@virgin.net
    Wiley-Blackwell
    Source:Eurekalert

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