Intimate partner violence perpetration among men and emergency department use

Sherry Lipsky, Raul Caetano
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2011, 40 (6): 696-703

BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration and emergency department (ED) use share common risk factors, such as risk-taking behaviors, but little is known about the relationship between IPV perpetration and ED use or the effect of risk-taking on this relationship.

STUDY OBJECTIVES: This study examined the relationship between IPV perpetration, risk-taking, and ED utilization among men in the general U.S. population.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study utilized data from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, focusing on non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic male respondents 18-49 years of age cohabiting with a spouse or partner. Logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: Approximately 38% of IPV perpetrators reported ED use in the previous year, compared to 24% of non-perpetrators. Several risk-taking factors (e.g., perception of risk-taking, transportation-related risk-taking, and aggression-related arrest), alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse or dependence, and serious mental illness were positively associated with IPV perpetration. Men reporting IPV were 1.5 times (AOR 1.47, 95% CI 1.01-2.13) more likely than non-perpetrators to utilize the ED, after taking all factors into account. Drug abuse or dependence, transportation-related risk behaviors, and serious mental illness also were independently associated with ED use.

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that men who perpetrate IPV are more likely than non-perpetrators to use ED services. These findings suggest that screening for IPV, as well as risk-taking and mental illness among men accessing ED services may increase opportunities for intervention and referral.

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