Association between intimate partner violence and preventive screening among women. Academic Article uri icon


  • Intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological harm that can be perpetrated by a former/current spouse. IPV has been linked to adverse health outcomes and risky behaviors, and victims of IPV tend to need more healthcare overall than nonvictims of IPV. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between IPV and preventive screening among women.The study used data from eight states/territories, which collected IPV information in the 2006 and 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n=30,182). IPV and preventive screening for HIV, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, cholesterol, and breast cancer were determined by self-report. Multivariable logistic regression models provided adjusted estimates of odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).Approximately one in four women reported a history of lifetime IPV. Relative to those who did not report a history of IPV, IPV victims were twice as likely to have had an HIV test (aOR: 2.34; 95% CI: 2.06 to 2.66) or a breast exam (aOR: 1.76; 95% CI: 1.37 to 2.27). IPV victims are vigilant about certain screening practices related to sexual health (HIV testing) and passive screening (breast exam) compared to active screening.The strongest association between IPV and preventive screening was seen for HIV testing, which likely reflects the women's perceived risk for HIV infection. That these women are in contact with the healthcare system provides support for recommendations for widespread adoption of IPV screening and counseling.

publication date

  • November 2013