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Suicidal ideation and behaviors among women veterans with recent exposure to intimate partner violence.

Brignone E, Sorrentino AE, Roberts CB, Dichter ME. Suicidal ideation and behaviors among women veterans with recent exposure to intimate partner violence. General hospital psychiatry. 2018 Nov 1; 55:60-64.

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OBJECTIVE: Women veterans have disproportionately high risk for both suicide and intimate partner violence compared to women non-veterans. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) and suicidal ideation and suicidal or self-harm behaviors among women veterans. METHOD: Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic medical records were extracted for 8427 women veterans who completed screening for past-year IPV between April 2014 and 2016. Risk for suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors were estimated as function of screening results using logistic regression. RESULTS: Overall, 8.4% screened positive for IPV. Suicidal ideation or self-harm behaviors were recorded for 3.2%. Positive IPV screen was associated with double the odds for suicidal ideation (AOR? = 2.04; 95% CI? = 1.47-2.86) and self-harm behaviors (AOR? = 2.05, 95% CI? = 1.10-3.83). Risks did not significantly differ by IPV type. Suicide-related ICD codes were most often recorded prior to IPV screening. CONCLUSIONS: There is a strong association between positive IPV screen and suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors among VHA-engaged women veterans. Documentation of either event is an important marker for the other. Integration of suicide prevention with IPV services may enhance identification of women at risk and speed service uptake. Suicidal ideation and behaviors should be assessed among women with positive IPV screens, and identification of suicide risk should trigger IPV assessment.

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