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Domestic violence and mental health: a cross-sectional survey of women seeking help from domestic violence support services.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) are associated with an increased risk of mental illness, but we know little about the mental health of female DVA survivors seeking support from domestic violence services.

OBJECTIVE

Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) are associated with an increased risk of mental illness, but we know little about the mental health of female DVA survivors seeking support from domestic violence services.

DESIGN

Baseline data on 260 women enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of a psychological intervention for DVA survivors was analyzed. We report prevalence of and associations between mental health status and severity of abuse at the time of recruitment. We used logistic and normal regression models for binary and continuous outcomes, respectively. Mental health measures used were: Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), Patient Health Questionnaire, Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment, and the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS) to measure posttraumatic stress disorder. The Composite Abuse Scale (CAS) measured abuse.

RESULTS

Exposure to DVA was high, with a mean CAS score of 56 (SD 34). The mean CORE-OM score was 18 (SD 8) with 76% above the clinical threshold (95% confidence interval: 70-81%). Depression and anxiety levels were high, with means close to clinical thresholds, and all respondents recorded PTSD scores above the clinical threshold. Symptoms of mental illness increased stepwise with increasing severity of DVA.

CONCLUSIONS

Exposure to DVA was high, with a mean CAS score of 56 (SD 34). The mean CORE-OM score was 18 (SD 8) with 76% above the clinical threshold (95% confidence interval: 70-81%). Depression and anxiety levels were high, with means close to clinical thresholds, and all respondents recorded PTSD scores above the clinical threshold. Symptoms of mental illness increased stepwise with increasing severity of DVA.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

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    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; giulia.ferrari@bristol.ac.uk.

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    Domestic Violence Training Ltd, Surrey, UK.

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    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

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    Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

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    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

    ,

    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

    ,

    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

    Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

    Source

    Global health action 7: 2014 pg 25519

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Cross-Sectional Studies
    Demography
    Domestic Violence
    Female
    Humans
    Mental Health
    Middle Aged
    Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
    Risk Factors
    Social Support
    Survivors
    United Kingdom
    Women's Health

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Multicenter Study
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Retracted Publication

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    25319597