, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 497-509
Date: 06 Sep 2007

Health-Related Quality of Life Among Abused Women One Year After Leaving a Violent Partner

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Abstract

This is the first follow up study measuring quality of life among abused women who have left their abusive partner. The women (n = 22) answered a questionnaire while staying at women’s shelter and one year later. The aim was to examine long-term effects of intimate partner violence against women on health-related quality of life. Health-related quality of life was measured using the SF-36 Health Survey and the WHOQOL-BREF. The meantime for living in a violent partnership was 11 years, most of the women had children under 10 years living with them, low income and were on sickness absence or disability pension. About half of the women had experienced threats of violence and 6 had experienced violent acts after leaving their partner. SF-36 scores after one year were significantly better in vitality (t-test, P < 0.001), mental health (t-test P < 0.001) and social domains (t-test, P < 0.04). WHOQOL-BREF scores did not change significantly from baseline, showing that the SF-36 showed more responsiveness in this population. Regression analysis showed that serious physical violence reported at baseline predicted significantly less improvement in physical and mental health and role-emotional in the SF-36 and in social relationships and environmental health in the WHOQOL-BREF. High psychological violence at baseline predicted significantly less improvement in mental health in the SF-36 and in social relationships and environmental health in the WHOQOL-BREF.