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Prevalence and Associations of Domestic Violence at an Australian Colposcopy Clinic

Quinlivan, Julie A. PhD, MBBS, FRANZCOG1,2; Collier, Rachael R.1; Petersen, Rodney W. FRANZCOG, MBBS, MBA2,3

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: October 2012 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 - p 372–376
doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e3182480c2e
Original Articles

Objective: Domestic violence is associated with significant mortality and morbidity including gynecological morbidity. We report the prevalence and associations of domestic violence in an Australian colposcopy service.

Materials and Methods: A prospective study was performed from consecutive patients attending colposcopy clinics at a major metropolitan hospital in Australia. Key outcomes were the prevalence of intimate partner violence and its key demographic associations.

Results: Consent was obtained from 574 and domestic violence status was ascertained in 566 of 581 women approached. Overall, 33% of responders reported violence within 12 months. In 14.5%, the female reported being sole recipient of violence; in a further 16.6%, violence was bidirectional, and in 1.9% of cases, a woman was the sole perpetrator. Key associations of violence were younger age at presentation (32 vs 35 y; p = .01), higher rates of smoking (51.3% vs 38.2%; p = .0004), higher rates of housing instability (32.2% vs 12.2%; p < .0001), a positive Beck Depression Inventory screen (50.0% vs 24.6%; p < .0001), and higher rates of default to initial attendance (15.5% vs 4.7%, p < .0001).

Conclusions: Domestic violence is common in women presenting to colposcopy services and may be associated with poor housing stability and higher default rates.

1University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle; 2Ramsay Healthcare Joondalup Health Campus; and 3Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia

Reprint requests to: Julie A. Quinlivan, PhD, MBBS, FRANZCOG, Suite 106 Private Consulting Rooms, Joondalup Health Campus, Shenton Avenue WA 6027 Australia. E-mail:

Rachael R. Collier is a masters student.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

©2012The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology