One in six women at fracture clinics report domestic violence

One in six women arriving at orthopedic fracture clinics have been victims of physical, emotional, or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner within the past year, and one in 50 arrive as a direct result of intimate partner violence (IPV), according to the largest multinational study of its kind to date, led by McMaster University researchers.

The report has been published on Online First by The Lancet.

"The unexpectedly high rate of IPV in orthopedics suggests that injury clinics are the ideal location for identification and support programs for victims of severe abuse who may be at increased risk of further injury and homicide," said Sheila Sprague, program manager at McMaster University. She co-led the research with Dr. Mohit Bhandari, a professor of orthopedic surgery at McMaster and an for Hamilton Health Sciences.

"Almost three-quarters of the women in our study believed that health-care providers should ask all women about intimate partner violence, and about two-thirds agreed that orthopedic surgeons are particularly well placed to do this, " Bhandari said.

Worldwide, intimate partner violence is the leading cause of non-fatal injury to women. are the second most common type of injury resulting from IPV and are often seen by orthopedic surgeons. Bhandari added, "Over one billion women around the world experience some form of gender-based violence each year. The frequency of physical injuries associated with the violence mandates that we, as orthopedic surgeons, work hard to identify and ensure the safety of women in our trauma clinics."

The research, called the PRAISE study, examined the yearly and of IPV among 2,945 presenting to 12 fracture clinics across Canada, the U.S., the Netherlands, Denmark, and India. All the participants anonymously answered direct questions about abuse and completed two questionnaires (Woman Abuse Screening Tool and Partner Violence Screen) in private.

One in six women (16%) disclosed experiencing in the past year, and one in three (34.6%) reported experiencing abuse at some point during their lives.

Also important, say the researchers, is that of the 47 women (2%) who attended their fracture clinic as a direct result of IPV, only 14% said they had ever been asked about abuse by a health-care professional.

According to the PRAISE investigators, "The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recently published a statement recommending that all clinicians screen women for IPV…Health-care professionals in injury clinics are well positioned to identify patients experiencing IPV, since they often develop long-term interactions with women during repeat clinic visits for follow-up of fractures and associated surgical procedures."

More information: www.thelancet.com/journals/lan… (13)61205-2/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Partner abuse counseling for women insufficient

Mar 08, 2013

Only about one in five central Pennsylvania women who have experienced intimate partner violence is asked or counseled by a health care provider about abuse, according to Penn State medicine and public health science researchers. ...

Screening for intimate partner violence proves beneficial

May 08, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Screening instruments can be used in the health care setting to accurately identify women who are experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV), with minimal adverse effects, according to a review ...

Link between intimate partner violence and depression

May 07, 2013

Not only are women who have experienced violence from their partner (intimate partner violence) at higher risk of becoming depressed, but women who are depressed may also be at increased risk of experiencing intimate partner ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments