Prevalence of Domestic Violence in an Inpatient Female Population

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Abstract

Studies have evaluated the prevalence of domestic violence in populations of patients in emergency and primary care settings, but there are little data on patients admitted to hospitals. We undertook a study to evaluate the prevalence of domestic violence among female inpatients. Of 131 consecutive female patients between the ages of 18 and 60 admitted to a nontrauma urban teaching hospital asked to complete a self-administered survey about domestic violence, 101 completed the questionnaire. Twenty-six percent of the respondents reported being in an abusive relationship at one time. Two patients felt that domestic violence contributed to their current reason for admission. No respondents were asked about domestic violence by health care providers. Domestic violence is an uncommon but important precipitant to nontrauma hospital admissions. Physicians should query all female inpatients about domestic assault.

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