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Predicting Future Injury among Women in Abusive Relationships

Crandall, Marie L. MD, MPH; Nathens, Avery B. MD, PhD, MPH; Kernic, Mary A. PhD, MPH; Holt, Victoria L. PhD, MPH; Rivara, Frederick P. MD, MPH

The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: April 2004 - Volume 56 - Issue 4 - p 906-912
doi: 10.1097/01.TA.0000111753.45748.E8

Study Objective: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major cause of injury and death among women, and it is a problem with significant relevance to health care providers. In this study, we examined risk factors for IPV-related injury within 9 months of an index episode of abuse in a population of police- or court-identified victims of IPV.

Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of 354 women in abusive relationships. The outcome measured was injury within 9 months. Stepwise logistic regression was used for the statistical analysis.

Results: Two factors were found to be independently associated with increased risk of injury: victim’s lack of full-time employment (RR 3.47, 95% CI 1.43–8.41) and physical abuse on the index incident date (RR 3.06, 95% CI 1.16–8.06).

Conclusions: By questioning our patients about these issues, we can begin to identify the complex risk factors that predispose women in abusive relationships to future injury.

From the Division of Trauma and General Surgery (M.C., A.B.N.), Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington; and the Departments of Surgery (M.C., A.B.N.), Epidemiology (M.K., V.L.H.), and Pediatrics (F.P.R.), and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (M.C., A.B.N., M.K., V.L.H., F.P.R.), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Submitted for publication November 4, 2002.

Accepted for publication November 12, 2003.

This study was supported by grant R49/CCR002570 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by grant 1RO1 DA11151 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and National Institute of Justice, as part of the Interagency Consortium on Violence Against Women and Family Violence Research.

Address for reprints: Marie L. Crandall, MD, MPH, Northwestern University, Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, 201 E. Huron, Galter 10-105, Chicago, IL 60611-2908; email:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.