Intimate Partner Violence and Nursing Care

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing Care for Intimate Partner Violence

Kangaroo Care and Nursing

Intimate Partner Violence,Intimate Partner Violation and Nursing Research,Monitoring Efficacy of Nursing Care Out Come ,Availability of Weapons and Abusive Cases.

Intimate Partner Violence

     Intimate partner violence refers to physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and stalking committed by one partner against the other in a relationship. Although relationship violence affects both sexes, women are victimized more and they sustain the most severe injuries. 

    Data reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that almost 700,000 events of nonfatal intimate partner violence were documented in 2001 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003). Federal Bureau of Investigation data show that in the last 25 years, 57,000 individuals have been killed in domestic violence situations. 

    The problem is a significant one for the health care community and society at large. Health related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year. Of this total, nearly $4.1 billion is for direct medical and mental health care services.

Intimate Partner Violation and Nursing Research

    Nurse researchers have conducted many investigations regarding the physical and mental health of adult victims of intimate partner or domestic violence. Representative nursing research conducted since 1998 is included here. 

    Campbell (2002) and her colleagues compared selected physical health problems of abused and never abused women with similar access to health care. 

    Employing a case-control study of enrollees in a multisite metropolitan health maintenance organization, they sampled 2,535 women enrollees aged 21 to 55 years, and found that abused women have a 50% to 70% increase in gynecological, central nervous system, and stress related problems, with women who were sexually and physically abused most likely to report problems. 

    Glass, Deepwater, and Campbell (2001) surveyed all women (N= 4,641) aged 18 years or older who came to the emergency department in 11 mid sized community level hospital emergencies departments in Pennsylvania and California. 

    They found that more than a third of women who had recently been abused and 76% of women who acknowledged experiencing physical or sexual intimate partner violence within the past year reported that they did not come to the emergency department for treatment of an injury. 

    The majority of women (76% to 90%) agreed with the concept of health care providers reporting intimate partner violence to police. Dienemann and colleagues (2000) surveyed 82 women to determine the extent to which domestic violence was part of the history of women diagnosed with depression. 

    They found a 61.0% lifetime prevalence of domestic violence, and that abused women were less healthy. Prevalence of headaches, chronic pain, rape including marital rape, and sleep problems or nightmares were significantly higher. Severity of abuse was significantly correlated to severity of depression. 

    In a similar vein, Torres and Han (2000) examined psychological distress in a sample of 62 White and an equal number of Hispanic women who had been abused. They found that White women experienced a higher prevalence of psychological distress than Hispanic women. 

    Japanese nurse researchers (Wein gourt, Maruyama, Sawada, & Yoshino, 2001) also found that women who experienced abuse had significant clinical symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Monitoring Efficacy of Nursing Care Out Come 

    Researchers also conducted research on safety and assessment issues and educational protocols. Mohr, Fantuzzo, and Abdul-Kabir (2001) studied the ingenious ways in which women keep themselves and their children safe in the face of intimate partner and community violence, while RE Davis (2002) documented the phenomenon of leaving the abusive situation . 

    Using specific educational protocols, McFarlane, Parker, Soeken, Silva, and Reel (1998) found that pregnant women who were abused and were offered an intervention protocol report a significant increase in safety behavior adoption during and after pregnancy. 

    In a randomized controlled study, McFarlane et al. (2002) tested the efficacy of an intervention administered to abused women in order to increase safety seeking behaviors. They demonstrated that such an intervention is highly effective when offered following an abusive incident and remains effective for 6 

Availability of Weapons and Abusive Cases

    Other noteworthy research conducted by nurses on women exposed to intimate partner violence include findings by McFarlane, Soeken, et al. (1998), who investigated the relationship between abuse to pregnant women and gun access, finding that women who reported gun access by their abusers also reported higher levels of abuse.     

    Nurse researchers also studied nurses' attitudes and behaviors towards abused women (Henderson, A., 2001), tensions between service providers and victims (Peckover, 2002), and stereotypical thinking focusing on "physical problems" among nurses that precluded assessment of danger and safety issues of victims (Varcoe, 2001).

    In sum, studies of the abused adult victim constitute a well developed and developing body of research. Not only are nurses exploring aspects of safety, education, and assessment, but they are also carrying out intervention studies.

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