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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2000 Jul-Aug;21(5):499-513.

Intimate partner abuse among women diagnosed with depression.

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School of Nursing, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.


Domestic violence is a pervasive problem for women, and depression is the most prevalent negative mental health consequence of domestic violence. This study investigates the extent to which domestic violence is part of the history of women diagnosed with depression. Eighty two women with a diagnosis of depression were surveyed. A 61.0% lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was found. Lifetime prevalence for forced sex was 29.3%. Demographics of abused and nonabused women were not significantly different. Abused women were found to be less healthy. Prevalence of headaches, chronic pain, rape or marital rape, and sleep problems or nightmares were significantly higher. Severity of abuse was significantly correlated (p < .01) to severity of depression. Implications for mental health practice and training of peer support group leaders for women with depression are described, as well as directions for future research.

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