Injury Outcomes in African American and African Caribbean Women: The Role of Intimate Partner Violence

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Abstract

Introduction:

Intimate partner violence has been linked to increased and repeated injuries, as well as negative long-term physical and mental health outcomes. This study examines the prevalence and correlates of injury in women of African descent who reported recent intimate partner violence and control subjects who were never abused.

Methods:

African American and African Caribbean women aged 18 to 55 years were recruited from clinics in Baltimore, MD, and the US Virgin Islands. Self-reported demographics, partner violence history, and injury outcomes were collected. Associations between violence and injury outcomes were examined with logistic regression.

Results:

All injury outcomes were significantly more frequently reported in women who also reported recent partner violence than in women who were never abused. Multiple injuries were nearly 3 times more likely to be reported in women who had experienced recent abuse (adjusted odds ratio 2.75; 95% confidence interval 1.98-3.81). Reported injury outcomes were similar between the sites except that women in Baltimore were 66% more likely than their US Virgin Islands counterparts to report ED use in the past year (P = .001). In combined-site multivariable models, partner violence was associated with past-year ED use, hospitalization, and multiple injuries.

Discussion:

Injuries related to intimate partner violence may be part of the explanation for the negative long-term health outcomes. In this study, partner violence was associated with past-year ED use, hospitalization, and multiple injuries. Emergency nurses need to assess for intimate partner violence when women report with an injury to ensure that the violence is addressed in order to prevent repeated injuries and negative long-term health outcomes.

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