Stephanie J. Woods, RN, PhD, is a Professor at the The University of Akron College of Nursing, Akron, OH.
Physical Health and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2008 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 53, Issue 6, pages 538–546, November-December 2008
How to Cite
Woods, S. J., Hall, R. J., Campbell, J. C. and Angott, D. M. (2008), Physical Health and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 53: 538–546. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2008.07.004
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- domestic violence;
- women's health;
- intimate partner violence;
- posttraumatic stress disorder
This correlational-predictive study addresses the associations between intimate partner violence (IPV) and physical health and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, including: 1) detailed physical health symptoms reported and health care sought by women in intimate abusive relationships, 2) relationships between physical health symptoms, IPV, and PTSD, and 3) unique predictors of physical health symptoms. An ethnically diverse sample of 157 abused women was recruited from crisis shelters and the community. The women averaged almost 34 years of age and had been in the abusive relationship for slightly more than 5 years. The women experienced physical health symptoms falling into 4 groups: neuromuscular, stress, sleep, and gynecologic symptoms. Women experiencing more severe IPV reported more physical health and PTSD symptomatology. PTSD avoidance and threats of violence or risk of homicide uniquely predicted physical health. More than 75% of the women had sought treatment from a health care professional in the previous 9 months. Implications for practice are discussed.