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Disproportionate Mental Health Burden Associated With Past-Year Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Receiving Care in the Veterans Health Administration.

Dichter ME, Sorrentino A, Bellamy S, Medvedeva E, Roberts CB, Iverson KM. Disproportionate Mental Health Burden Associated With Past-Year Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Receiving Care in the Veterans Health Administration. Journal of traumatic stress. 2017 Dec 1; 30(6):555-563.

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Abstract:

Experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) can lead to mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and unhealthy substance use. Women seen in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) face high rates of both IPV and mental health morbidity. This study aimed to identify associations between recent IPV experience and mental health diagnoses among women VHA patients. We examined medical records data for 8,888 female veteran and nonveteran VHA patients across 13 VHA facilities who were screened for past-year IPV between April, 2014 and April, 2016. Compared with women who screened negative for past-year IPV (IPV-), those who screened positive (IPV+; 8.7%) were more than twice as likely to have a mental health diagnosis, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.95, 2.64]; or more than two mental health diagnoses, AOR = 2.29, 95% CI [1.93, 2.72]). Screening IPV+ was also associated with significantly higher odds of each type of mental health morbidity (AOR range = 1.85-3.19) except psychoses. Over half (53.5%) of the women who screened IPV+ had a mental health diagnosis, compared with fewer than one-third (32.6%) of those who screened IPV-. Each subtype of IPV (psychological, physical, and sexual violence) was significantly associated with having a mental health diagnosis (AOR range = 2.25-2.37) or comorbidity (AOR range = 2.17-2.78). Associations remained when adjusting for military sexual trauma and combat trauma among the veteran subsample. These findings highlight the mental health burden associated with past-year IPV among female VHA patients and underscore the need to address psychological and sexual IPV, in addition to physical violence.





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