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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2018 May;27(5):607-614. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2017.6402. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Healthcare Access and Cancer Screening Among Victims of Intimate Partner Violence.

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1 Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, Georgia .
2 Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, Georgia .



Intimate partner violence (IPV) victims often experience substantial and persistent mental and physical health problems, including increased risk for chronic disease and barriers to healthcare access. This study investigated the association between IPV and cancer screening.


Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from the eight states and one U.S. territory that administered the optional IPV module in 2006 were analyzed to examine demographic characteristics, health behaviors, health status, healthcare coverage, use of health services, and cancer screening among men and women who reported IPV victimization compared with those among men and women who did not. IPV victimization included physical violence, threats, and sexual violence.


In the nine jurisdictions that administered the IPV module, 23.6% of women and 11.3% of men experienced IPV. Fewer women and men reporting IPV victimization had health insurance, a personal doctor or healthcare provider, or regular checkups within the past 2 years than nonvictims. More male and female IPV victims were current tobacco users and engaged in binge drinking in the past month. IPV victims of both sexes also had poorer health status, lower life satisfaction, less social and emotional support, and more days with poor physical and mental health in the past month than nonvictims. IPV victimization was associated with lower rates of mammography and colorectal cancer screening but not cervical cancer screening in women and was not associated with colorectal cancer screening in men. In multivariable logistic regression results presented as adjusted proportions controlling for demographics, health status, and healthcare access, only the association with mammography screening remained significant, and the magnitude of this association was modest.


There were consistent differences between IPV victims and nonvictims in nearly every measure of healthcare access, health status, and preventive service use. Much of this association seems explained by population characteristics associated with both IPV and lower use of preventive service use, including differences in demographic characteristics, health status, and healthcare access. Healthcare providers could take steps to identify populations at high risk for lack of access or use of preventive services and IPV victimization.


cancer screening; health disparities; intimate partner violence; preventive services

[Available on 2019-05-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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