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Inj Prev. Sep 2002; 8(3): 197–201.
PMCID: PMC1730868

What distinguishes unintentional injuries from injuries due to intimate partner violence: a study in Greek ambulatory care settings


Objectives: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important sociocultural and public health problem. This study aims to assess sociodemographic and injury characteristics of IPV victims among adults in a traditional southern European population.

Setting: Accident and emergency departments of three sentinel hospitals in Greece participating in the Emergency Department Injury Surveillance System (EDISS).

Methods: Data on sociodemographic variables, as well as event and injury characteristics were retrieved from the EDISS database during the three year period 1996–98. Out of a total of 27 319 injured women aged 19 years or more, 312 (1.1%) were reported as IPV related and were compared with 26 466 women with unintentional injuries. Among the 35 174 men with injuries 39 (0.1%) were reported as IPV related and were compared with 34 049 men with unintentional injuries. The data were analyzed through simple cross tabulations and multiple logistic regression. Positive predicted values for selected injury characteristics were also calculated.

Results: IPV is more common in rural than in urban areas of Greece. Women are 10 times more frequently IPV victims but men are also IPV victims; younger women and older men are disproportionately affected by IPV. The relative frequency of the phenomenon increases during the late evening and night hours. Certain types of injuries, notably multiple facial injuries, and presentation of the injured person on his/her own at the emergency department or combinations of predictive characteristics are strongly indicative of IPV.

Conclusions: Injuries due to IPV are not uncommon in Greece, not withstanding the traditional structure of the society and the tendency of under-reporting. Certain injury characteristics have high positive predictive values and could be used in screening protocols aiming at the correct identification of the underlying external cause in injuries that may be caused by IPV.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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