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J Interpers Violence. 2013 Mar;28(5):1067-87. doi: 10.1177/0886260512459380. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

Factors mediating the relationship between intimate partner violence and chronic pain in Chinese women.

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School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


There is increasing recognition that chronic pain is a problem affecting women survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), and in Western literature evidence is emerging about significant factors mediating the relationship between IPV and chronic pain. However, little is known about the factors mediating IPV and chronic pain in Chinese women for whom prior research has shown that Chinese culture may influence their response to IPV. This study was conducted to assess the roles of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depressive symptoms, and IPV-related injury on the relationship between IPV and chronic pain in Chinese women, using structural equation modelling (SEM). Data were collected from 308 Chinese women survivors of IPV recruited at community setting (n = 228) and at domestic violence shelters (n = 82). Results showed that only the relationship between psychological abuse severity and chronic pain severity was mediated by PTSD symptom severity (β = .30, 95% CI = 0.14-0.45, p < .001). Furthermore, although depressive symptom severity was strongly correlated with PTSD symptom severity (β = .69, 95% CI = 0.61-0.76, p < .001), it was not found to be mediating the relationship between any types of IPV and chronic pain. Similarly, IPV-related injury severity was not shown to have a significant mediating effect on the relationship between IPV and chronic pain. The findings affirm the importance of recognizing the complex interrelationships among IPV, mental health symptoms, and physical health problems as well as the need for considering PTSD symptoms when designing interventions for abused Chinese women with complaints of chronic pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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