Violence against women in mental health departments: Is it relevant for mental health professionals?

Jesús Cobo, Ruth Muñoz, Ascensin Martos, Montserrat Carmona, Mireia Pérez, Roser Cirici, Gemma Garca-Parés

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Introduction: Violence against women (VaW) directly influences their quality of life and mental health. Unfortunately, its influence may be ignored or underestimated by professionals attending these women. Objectives: To describe a hospitalized sample of women suffering from emergent VaW who visited the mental health department for other reasons. To evaluate the degree of knowledge about VaW and interventions for VaW taken by health professionals. Methods: We performed an observational, prospective study with systematic data collection on all cases of emergent and/or urgent VaW at the Corporaci Sanitria Parc Taul (Sabadell, Spain) from JanuaryDecember 2004 and JanuaryDecember 2006. The reference population consisted of 390,000 inhabitants, mostly urban and from the industrial and service economic sectors. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed. Results: In the two study periods, 218 and 194 women, respectively, were attended for emergent and/or urgent VaW resulting in severe injures and/or medical and/or social assistance. Of these, up to 53 received or had received specialized mental health treatment. Most of these women (69.7%) withdrew from follow-up. We detected a high rate of comorbid abuse or dependence on alcohol (27.3%), benzodiazepines (33.3%) or other drugs of abuse and a high rate of suicide attempts (41.9%) and successful suicides in these periods. VaW was explicitly registered in only 51.1% of the cases and a specific intervention for VaW was documented in only 15.2% of the cases. Conclusions: The prevalence of psychiatric and/or psychological disorders was very high in our sample, but the presence of VaW was not always specifically documented or treated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-67
    JournalRevista de Psiquiatria y Salud Mental
    Volume3
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

    Keywords

    • Gender
    • Mental health
    • Public health
    • Violence against women

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