Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2015, XXXIX/234: 372-376 Maximize

Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2015, XXXIX/234: 372-376

Title: Long-term somatic consequences of intimate partner violence in primary care female patients

Authors: Łukasik P, Karakuła-Juchnowicz H, Morylowska-Topolska J, Flis M, Krukow P. 

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Long-term somatic consequences of intimate partner violence in primary care female patients

Łukasik P1, Karakuła-Juchnowicz K2,3, Morylowska-Topolska J3, Flis M2, Krukow P3.

1Public Regional Psychiatric Hospital in Radecznica; 2I Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Early Intervention, Medical University of Lublin; 3Department of Clinical Neuropsychiatry, Medical University of Lublin

Violence against women has many various short- and long-term effects. Although violence by an intimate partner has been widely documented, still little is known about its long-term somatic consequences for the victim.
The aim of the study
was to examine the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among patients seeing a general practitioner as well as to determine relationships between IPV and somatic complaints other than direct somatic consequences (such as injuries), including somatic diseases and healthcare services use.
Material and methods
. The study sample comprised 151 women seeing a family doctor consecutively. The participants were administered a structured interview questionnaire developed for the purpose of this study.
. The prevalence of IPV for the total sample of primary health care female patients was 35.1% during 12 months preceding the examination. Compared to patients with no violence history, those experiencing IPV reported significantly more physical complaints and symptoms, particularly about cardiovascular, nervous, digestive and genitourinary systems. They were also at a higher risk of developing numerous diseases, with the greatest risk of peptic ulcer (OR, 6.62), and ischaemic heart disease (OR, 5.98). IPV victims were also more likely to seek help of a family doctor and the following specialists: neurologist (OR, 3.88), cardiologist (OR, 4.01), gastroenterologist (OR, 4.51), psychiatrist (OR, 2.43), endocrinologist (OR, 1.6), and pulmonologist (OR, 1.2). They were also more likely to use emergency department (OR, 3.23) and require hospitalization (OR, 3.61).
. It is recommended that the medical interview should include questions referring to violence, especially in case of patients reporting various symptoms about different systems and organs that have no medical explanation, or symptoms with intensity greater than it should be given the patients' actual physical state.

Key words: intimate partner violence, somatic consequences, medical care

Pol Med J, 2015; XXXIX (234); 372–376