Nonbattering presentations to the ED of women in physically abusive relationships

Robert L. Muelleman, Patricia A. Lenaghan, Ruth A. Pakieser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To determine which diagnoses in the emergency department (ED), apart from battering injuries, were more common among women who were living in physically abusive relationships than among women who were not, a study was conducted in 10 hospital-based EDs in two cities serving inner city, urban, and suburban populations. A total of 9,057 women between the ages of 19 and 65 years presenting to the EDs were eligible for the study. Medical records were reviewed, and a written questionnaire was used. The questionnaire was completed by 4,501 (73% of those asked, 59% of those eligible, and 50% of those presenting). Two hundred sixty-six (5.9%) were currently in a physically abusive relationship but not in the ED for battering injuries, and 3,969 (88.2%) were not currently in a physically abusive relationship. An additional 266 (5.9%) were positive, probable, or suggestive for battering injuries and excluded from diagnosis comparisons. Women in physically abusive relationships were more likely to be diagnosed with urinary tract infections, neck pain, vaginitis, foot wound, suicide attempt, and finger fracture. However, these represented only 19.8% of diagnoses in this group. The use of this knowledge alone to predict the presence of intimate violence in individual patients in the ED will not identify the majority of women at risk. These results suggest the use of routine inquiry for abuse in all women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-131
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hospital Emergency Service
Wounds and Injuries
Suburban Population
Vaginitis
Urban Population
Neck Pain
Violence
Urinary Tract Infections
Suicide
Fingers
Medical Records
Foot
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Domestic violence
  • Emergency services
  • Partner abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

Nonbattering presentations to the ED of women in physically abusive relationships. / Muelleman, Robert L.; Lenaghan, Patricia A.; Pakieser, Ruth A.

In: American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 16, No. 2, 01.01.1998, p. 128-131.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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