Background: There have been no population-based studies estimating the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) in an insured population. There is also little information on how well routinely collected health status information predicts IPV risk. Many women now obtain health care from providers who are members of a managed care organization (MCO). To justify efforts to routinely screen for IPV, it is essential to know the prevalence of IPV in this growing population and to identify correlates of IPV among female MCO members.
Methods: A telephone survey with questions on health status, behavioral risk factors, preventive services use, and the Conflict Tactics Scale was completed by 2,415 female members of a New Mexico MCO.
Results: Overall, 13.5% of respondents reported experiencing major verbal aggression and 6.7% reported experiencing physical aggression. Younger age, degree of sadness, and inability to handle stress, and a perception of a poorer general health status were significantly associated with major verbal aggression. Race/ethnicity, degree of sadness, and average number of drinks consumed at one sitting were significantly associated with physical aggression.
Conclusions: There is a low but important annual prevalence of IPV among female members of a MCO that occurs across all variables studied. This information is needed to develop appropriate screening protocols and interventions in this population.
Copyright 1999 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.