Online Program

Preventative Health Screening amongst Women who have Experienced Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sandy Cesario, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX
Anne Koci, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, WHNP, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX
Fuqin Liu, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
Heidi Gilroy, MSN, APHN-BC, College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX
Judith McFarlane, DrPH, Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX
John Maddoux, MA, Research, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
background: IPV affects 1/3 of US women and is linked to a higher incidence of women’s cancers with increased utilization of health care services.  The purpose of this study was to identify engagement of abused women in health screening behaviors (Pap testing, mammography, and breast exams) and to determine if preventative health screening is occurring at optimal rates.

methods: Participants (n=284 abused women) ranged in age from 18 to 52 (79% Hispanic) were part of a seven-year prospective study to examine the treatment efficacy of the two models most often offered to abused women - safe shelter and justice services. Self-reported data obtained during the 24th month interview identified relationships between key demographics (i.e., immigrant status, ethnicity, primary language, intervention group) and preventative health care. 

results: Abused women were more likely to engage in preventative health behaviors than the general US female population but had a higher incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and abnormal Pap test results with variance based on race, ethnicity, immigration status, language, and the type of IPV services initiated (safe shelter or protection order). Preventative screening was adequate, but there was poor follow-up care for abused women who received abnormal results.

conclusions: Findings suggest urgent need to maintain high rates of screening and initiate better follow-up care. Recognition of the potential co-existence of gynecological infections or cervical cellular irregularities with the experience of partner abuse may lead health care providers to improved diagnosis and treatment for both IPV and abnormal gender-specific health care outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Basic medical science applied in public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the variation in health screening behaviors of abused women based on key demographic characteristics (i.e., immigrant status, ethnicity, primary language, intervention group)

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am co-investigator on this research since the beginning of this study in 2010. I have been the principal investigator on other studies focusing on health outcomes of women with a history of abuse. Among my scientific interests are marginalization and intimate partner violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.