The mediation effect of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms on the relationship of intimate partner violence and IFN-gamma levels.Am J Community Psychol. 2005 Sep; 36(1-2):159-75.AJ
Women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) report greater stress and negative health consequences than nonabused women. Although an association between psychological stress and altered immune function has been shown, IPV studies have not investigated this relationship.
This study explored the association of IPV with mental health symptoms and an immune marker to determine if posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms mediate the effect of IPV on pro-inflammatory (IFN-gamma) cytokine levels.
A cross-sectional, comparative design was used to compare 62 women with IPV and 39 nonabused women.
Mean IFN-gamma values were higher in abused women and in women with current PTSD symptoms. There were no significant relationships with potential confounding variables that could provide an alternative explanation for the increase in production of proinflammatory cytokines.
PTSD symptoms mediate the association between IPV and IFN-gamma levels and may partially explain the association of mental health symptoms with physical health sequelae in IPV.