Published Papers - Abstract 921

Loxton D, Dolja-Gore X, Anderson A & Townsend N. Intimate partner violence adversely impacts health over 16 years and across generations: A longitudinal cohort study. PLoS One, 2017; 12(6): e0178138

Objectives: To determine the impact of intimate partner violence on women’s mental and physical health over a 16 year period and across three generations.Participants: Participants were from the Australian Longitudinal study on Women’s Health, a broadly representative national sample of women comprised of three birth cohorts 1973–78, 1946–51 and 1921–26 who were randomly selected from the Australian Medicare (i.e. national health insurer) database in 1996 to participate in the longitudinal health and wellbeing survey. Since baseline, six waves of survey data have been collected. Women from each cohort who had returned all six surveys and had a baseline measure (Survey 1) for intimate partner violence were eligible for the current study.Main outcome measures: The main outcome of interest was women’s physical and mental health, measured using the Medical Outcome Study Short-Form (SF-36). The experience of intimate partner violence was measured using the survey item ‘Have you ever been in a violent relationship with a partner/spouse?’ Sociodemographic information was also collected.Results: For all cohorts, women who had lived with intimate partner violence were more likely to report poorer mental health, physical function and general health, and higher levels of bodily pain. Some generational differences existed. Younger women showed a reduction in health associated with the onset of intimate partner violence, which was not apparent for women in the older two groups. In addition, the physical health differences between women born 1921–26 who had and had not experienced intimate partner violence tapered off overtime, whereas these differences remained constant for women born 1973–78 and 1946–51.Conclusions: Despite generational differences, intimate partner violence adversely impacted on mental and physical health over the 16 year study period and across generations.

Open Access Article