A comparison of intimate partner violence and associated physical injuries between cohabitating and married women : a 5-year medical chart review

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)62_Review of books or of software (or similar publications/items)peer-review

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Author(s)

  • Janet Yuen-Ha Wong
  • Daniel Yee-Tak Fong
  • Edmond Pui Hang Choi
  • John Kit-Shing Wong
  • Fung Ling So
  • Chu-Leung Lau
  • Chak-Wah Kam

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number1207
Journal / PublicationBMC Public Health
Volume16
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Link(s)

Abstract

Background: Cohabitation, referring to a co-residential romantic relationship between two intimate partners without a marriage license, has become widely accepted in contemporary societies. It has been found that cohabitating women have a higher risk of experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) than married women. However, as yet, no studies have investigated the level and pattern of IPV-associated physical injuries and its mental health impact on cohabitating women. Therefore, we aim to compare IPV-associated physical injuries between cohabitating and married women by conducting a review of 5-year medical records from the emergency departments of two major public hospitals in Hong Kong. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study. Using two computerized systems, we identified the medical charts of 1011 women who had experienced IPV and presented at emergency departments between 2010 and 2014, of which, 132 were cohabitating and 833 were married. Results: Cohabitating women were significantly younger (p-value <.0001) and had obtained a higher educational level (p-value =.008) than married women. After adjusting for those two variables, the logistic regression models showed that cohabitating women were approximately 2.1 times more likely than married women to present with head, neck, or facial injuries (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.30-3.40, p =.002), and the risk of having multiple injuries in different locations (head, neck, face, torso, limbs) was almost twice that for cohabitating women compared with married women (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.25-2.65, p =.001). Furthermore, cohabitating women were almost two times as likely as married women to experience more than one method of physical violence (OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.18-2.51, p =.005). There were no significant differences regarding mental health, police reporting, and discharge plans. Conclusions: Owing to recent social changes to the family structure, including the growing acceptance of cohabitation, it is essential that a screening program for IPV is established for cohabitating women, as well as the inclusion of IPV content in medical and nursing curriculums and in-service training.

Research Area(s)

  • Cohabitation, Injury, Intimate partner violence, Physical violence, Women

Citation Format(s)

A comparison of intimate partner violence and associated physical injuries between cohabitating and married women : a 5-year medical chart review. / Wong, Janet Yuen-Ha; Choi, Anna Wai-Man; Fong, Daniel Yee-Tak; Choi, Edmond Pui Hang; Wong, John Kit-Shing; So, Fung Ling; Lau, Chu-Leung; Kam, Chak-Wah.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 16, 1207, 29.11.2016.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)62_Review of books or of software (or similar publications/items)peer-review

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