Authors: Sayumporn (Sue) Webster and Violeta Lopez, NSW
Event: 2011 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CLINICAL ISSUES
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: A majority of women entering hospital emergency departments and walk-in clinics in Sydney are likely to have a history of domestic violence. Domestic violence involves a physical injury or psychological threat by a husband or boyfriend.
Aims: To identify this group of women and to intervene early by referring them to counseling and other services.
Method: Survey designed using psychometric scales to screen women who agreed to participate accessing emergency Department. A Partner Violence Screen (PVS) consisting of three questions can detect a majority of the women who come to an emergency department with a history of abuse. Researchers compared PVS to two other abuse screens, the Index of Spouse Abuse (ISA) and the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS).
Results: Of 239 women in Sydney, who previously sought emergency care and filled out questionnaires, 102 or 47% had experienced threats or injuries from a male partner in their lives. Physicians and other emergency department may fail to detect the history of domestic violence in women seeking treatment. Of the 239 women in the study with a male partner, 11.7% came to the emergency room for acute domestic violence, but only 13% of these said they either told or were asked about domestic violence.
Conclusion: Women who have experienced domestic violence are prone to suicide attempts and ethanol use and the referral to services should be improved.