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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