Objective: To assist in the design and implementation of strategies to address partner violence, the objective of this study was to evaluate differences in mental health, health behaviors, and use of health care and specific community services between women who do or do not report experiences of partner violence as an adult.
Methods: During interviews with 392 women enrolled in a Medicaid managed care organization, measures of mental health status, health behaviors, use of health care and community services, and experiences of partner violence were collected. Using bivariate statistical analyses, characteristics between women reporting or not reporting partner violence were compared. Chi-square tests were used to assess significant differences between the groups. The relationships between outcomes of interest and violence were estimated with logistic regression models adjusting for significant demographic and health characteristics.
Results: Overall, 28% of women reported experiences of partner violence. Women reporting partner violence had twice the adjusted odds of depression and three times the adjusted odds of negative self-esteem compared with women not reporting experiences of partner violence. Women reporting partner violence, compared with those who did not, indicated higher use of specific types of health and community services such as mental health services [odds ratio (OR) 2.9; confidence interval (CI) 1.5-5.6] and individual counseling (OR 3.6; CI 2.2-6.1).
Conclusions: A communitywide effort that establishes linkages between health care settings and community services may be important in addressing the needs of women who are experiencing partner violence.