Lifetime history of abuse, suffering, and psychological health
2010 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, ISSN 0803-9488, E-ISSN 1502-4725, Vol. 64, no 4, 227-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: In a representative Swedish sample, we investigated lifetime prevalence of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of women and their current suffering. The relationship between current suffering from abuse and psychological health problems was also studied. Method: The study was cross-sectional and population-based. The Abuse Screening Inventory (ASI), measuring experiences of physical, sexual and psychological abuse and including questions on health and social situation, was sent by mail to 6000 women, randomly selected from the population register. The questionnaire was completed and returned by 4150 (70%) of 5896 eligible women. Results: 27.5% of the women reported abuse of any kind. Of those, 69.5% reported current suffering from abuse. Abused suffering women reported more anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances, and a less advantageous social situation than both non-abused and abused non-suffering women. Also, abused non-suffering women reported more depression than non-abused women. Somatization was reported more often by both abused suffering and non-suffering women than by non-abused women, with no difference between suffering and non-suffering women when adjusted for possible confounders. Conclusion: A majority of abused women, when investigating lifetime history of abuse, report current suffering thereof, which warrants considering abuse an important societal problem. Suffering could be a valuable construct, possibly useful to assess psychological health problems normally not captured by existing diagnostic instruments, although further investigations of the concept are needed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 64, no 4, 227-232 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14531DOI: 10.3109/08039480903478680PubMedID: 20085432OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14531DiVA: diva2:23658