Ethics. Research. Community.

Intimate partner violence and women's physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domesti...

[Intimate partner violence and women's physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence: an observational study.]
Lancet. 
371
(9619): 
1165-1172; 
2008. 
(English). 
[Record Source: PubMed]
BACKGROUND: This article summarises findings from ten countries from the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence against women. METHODS: Standardised population-based surveys were done between 2000 and 2003. Women aged 15-49 years were interviewed about their experiences of physically and sexually violent acts by a current or former intimate male partner, and about selected symptoms associated with physical and mental health. The women reporting physical violence by a partner were asked about injuries that resulted from this type of violence. FINDINGS: 24,097 women completed interviews. Pooled analysis of all sites found significant associations between lifetime experiences of partner violence and self-reported poor health (odds ratio 1.6 [95% CI 1.5-1.8]), and with specific health problems in the previous 4 weeks: difficulty walking (1.6 [1.5-1.8]), difficulty with daily activities (1.6 [1.5-1.8]), pain (1.6 [1.5-1.7]), memory loss (1.8 [1.6-2.0]), dizziness (1.7 [1.6-1.8]), and vaginal discharge (1.8 [1.7-2.0]). For all settings combined, women who reported partner violence at least once in their life reported significantly more emotional distress, suicidal thoughts (2.9 [2.7-3.2]), and suicidal attempts (3.8 [3.3-4.5]), than non-abused women. These significant associations were maintained in almost all of the sites. Between 19% and 55% of women who had ever been physically abused by their partner were ever injured. INTERPRETATION: In addition to being a breach of human rights, intimate partner violence is associated with serious public-health consequences that should be addressed in national and global health policies and programmes.
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Detailed Record Information

Record TypeJournal Article
Record Source Status
[MEDLINE]
FormatsPrint
DOI10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60522-X
ISSN1474-547X