Partner Violence Hospitalizations Among Adults With Intellectual Disabilities

Am J Prev Med. 2022 Sep 23;S0749-3797(22)00420-2. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2022.08.001. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The objective of this study is to determine the RR of intimate partner violence‒related hospitalization among men and women with and without intellectual disabilities.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, National Inpatient Sample, 2013-2019. Adults with intellectual disabilities were identified using diagnosis codes. A control group without intellectual disabilities was matched in a 1:5 ratio. A total of 1,179,282 hospitalization records were analyzed, with identified cases of 112,565 men and 83,982 women with intellectual disabilities. Analyses were conducted in 2021 and 2022.

Results: Men with intellectual disabilities (RR=6.00; 95% CI=4.43, 8.13; p<0.001) were at higher risk for intimate partner violence‒related hospitalizations than men without intellectual disabilities, as were women without intellectual disabilities (RR=3.36; 95% CI=2.57, 4.39; p<0.001). Women with intellectual disabilities experienced the highest risk of intimate partner violence‒related hospitalizations (RR=16.44; 95% CI=12.60, 21.45; p<0.001). Risks remained robust after adjusting for sociodemographic and hospital characteristics.

Conclusions: Intellectual disability and female sex compound to elevate the risk of intimate partner violence‒related hospitalizations. This study underscores the need for improved and specialized service provision across healthcare, legal, criminal, and other systems to promote safety and healing for people with disabilities (especially for those with intellectual disabilities) who are survivors of intimate partner violence.