Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From AMA Morning Rounds: Violence against women may damage long-term mental health

Violence against women may damage long-term mental health.

The Los Angeles Times (8/2, Kaplan) "Booster Shots" blog reported that according to a study published in the Aug. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, "women who experience gender-based violence are more than twice as likely as their peers to have some kind of mental disorder." Researchers arrived at this conclusion after examining the results of "a nationwide survey of 4,451 Australian women conducted in 2007. Among them, 27% said they had been the victim of at least one instance of gender-based violence."
        "Fifty-seven percent of the women with a history of abuse also had a history of depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, or anxiety (including panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder), versus 28% of the women who had not experienced gender-based violence," CNN / (8/3, MacMillan) reports. And, among women who "had been exposed to at least three different types of violence, the rate of mental disorders or substance abuse rose to 89%."
        HealthDay (8/2, Gordon) reported, "Suicide rates were significantly higher for women who'd experienced gender-based violence." For example, the "average rate of attempted suicide was 1.6 percent for all women in the study, but it was 6.6 percent for women who'd experienced one form of violence, and 34.7 percent for women exposed to three or more types of violence." In addition, "rates of physical and mental disabilities were...much higher for women who had experienced gender-based violence."

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