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JAMA Surg. 2015 Dec;150(12):1177-83. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2386.

Prevalence of Domestic Violence Among Trauma Patients.

Author information

1
Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, Critical Care, and Burns, Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson.
2
Division of Acute Care Surgery/Critical Care, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco-Fresno Medical Education Program, Fresno.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE:

Domestic violence is an extremely underreported crime and a growing social problem in the United States. However, the true burden of the problem remains unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the reported prevalence of domestic violence among trauma patients.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

A 6-year (2007-2012) retrospective analysis of the prospectively maintained National Trauma Data Bank. Trauma patients who experienced domestic violence and who presented to trauma centers participating in the National Trauma Data Bank were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnosis codes (995.80-995.85, 995.50, 995.52-995.55, and 995.59) and E codes (E967.0-E967.9). Patients were stratified by age into 3 groups: children (≤18 years), adults (19-54 years), and elderly patients (≥55 years). Trend analysis was performed on April 10, 2014, to assess the reported prevalence of domestic violence over the years.

PARTICIPANTS:

Trauma patients presenting to trauma centers participating in the National Trauma Data Bank.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:

To assess the reported prevalence of domestic violence among trauma patients.

RESULTS:

A total of 16 575 trauma patients who experienced domestic violence were included. Of these trauma patients, 10 224 (61.7%) were children, 5503 (33.2%) were adults, and 848 (5.1%) were elderly patients. The mean (SD) age was 15.9 (20.6), the mean (SD) Injury Severity Score was 10.9 (9.6), and 8397 (50.7%) were male patients. Head injuries (46.8% of patients) and extremity fractures (31.2% of patients) were the most common injuries. A total of 12 515 patients (75.1%) were discharged home, and the overall mortality rate was 5.9% (n = 980). The overall reported prevalence of domestic violence among trauma patients was 5.7 cases per 1000 trauma center discharges. The prevalence of domestic violence increased among children (14.0 cases per 1000 trauma center discharges in 2007 to 18.5 case per 1000 trauma center discharges in 2012; P = .001) and adults (3.2 cases per 1000 discharges in 2007 to 4.5 cases per 1000 discharges in 2012; P = .001) over the 6-year period and remained unchanged for elderly patients (0.8 cases per 1000 discharges in 2007 to 0.96 cases per 1000 discharges in 2012; P = .09). On subanalysis of adults and elderly patients, the prevalence of domestic violence increased among both female (4.6 cases per 1000 discharges in 2007 to 5.3 cases per 1000 discharges in 2012; P = .001) and male patients (1.5 cases per 1000 discharges in 2007 to 2.8 cases per 1000 discharges in 2012; P = .001).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

Domestic violence is prevalent among trauma patients. Over the years, the reported prevalence of domestic violence has been increasing among children and adults, and continues to remain high among female trauma patients. A robust mandatory screening for evaluating domestic violence among trauma patients, along with a focused national intervention, is warranted.

PMID:
26352398
DOI:
10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2386
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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