Victims of family violence identified in emergency care : comparisons of mental health and somatic diagnoses with other victims of interpersonal violence by a retrospective chart review
Siltala, Heli Pauliina; Kuusinen-Laukkala, Anneli; Holma, Juha Matti (2020). Victims of family violence identified in emergency care : comparisons of mental health and somatic diagnoses with other victims of interpersonal violence by a retrospective chart review. Preventive Medicine Reports, 19, 101136. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101136
Published inPreventive Medicine Reports
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Family violence is a global health problem incurring significant costs to both individuals and health care systems. However, family violence as a cause of trauma and other health issues is often unidentified in patients attending emergency care. Better understanding of the risk factors associated with family violence could improve the identification and treatment of victimized patients in health care settings. Little longitudinal research exists on the mental and somatic health of family violence victims currently identified in EDs and little is known about how victims of family violence differ from other help-seeking victims of interpersonal violence. A total of 345 patients were identified as victims of interpersonal violence in a mid-size Finnish ED during the period 2011-2014. A retrospective chart review was conducted to analyze their mental and somatic health two years before and two years after identification. Victims of family violence were most likely women and they were significantly older than other victim groups. Victims of family violence also presented the most varied health symptoms both before and after identification, although differences between victim groups were not as clear as in previous studies comparing victims of family violence with non-victims. Comparison with previous data demonstrated that family violence was severely under-identified at the study site, further increasing the likelihood of family violence victims revisiting health care services. More attention should thus be paid to the identification and treatment of family violence in emergency care and other health care settings. ...