Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Intimate Partner Violence, and Sexual Assault

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Sexual assault and intimate partner violence have never been examined in individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa. The research is important, because prior studies show higher incidences of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in individuals with disabilities, and hidradenitis suppurativa meets criteria for a disability.


The objective of the study is to examine whether individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa are at significantly higher risk of intimate partner violence and sexual assault compared with individuals who have acne, a recognised disability.


Participants who met criteria for hidradenitis suppurativa and acne were recruited from a mid-sized university and a dermatology clinic. Participants spoke English and were over the age of sexual consent. Group (hidradenitis suppurativa and acne) differences on intimate partner violence and sexual assault were analysed. Victimisation within the past 12 months was measured using the Checklist for Controlling Behaviours, a measure of intimate partner violence, as well as the Sexual Experiences Survey–Short Form Victim, a measure of sexual assault.


In total, 243 participants (n = 128 for hidradenitis suppurativa; n = 115 for acne) were surveyed. Individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa were significantly more likely to report being victimised by intimate partner violence.


Intimate partner violence was more frequently observed in individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa. Health care providers should be aware of this issue when interacting with patients with hidradenitis suppurativa.

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