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Screening for domestic violence among patients admitted to a French emergency service

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

Michel Lejoyeux*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Hopital Louis Mourier, 92700, Colombes, France
Patrick Zillhardt
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Hopital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France
François Chièze
Affiliation:
Direction de la politique médicale, assistance publique-hôpitaux de Paris, France
Anika Fichelle
Affiliation:
Emergency Service, Hopital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France
Mary Mc Loughlin
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Hopital Louis Mourier, 92700, Colombes, France
Astrid Poujade
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Hopital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France
Jean Adès
Affiliation:
Emergency Service, Hopital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France
*
*Corresponding author. E-mail address:michel.lejoyeux@lmr.ap-hop-paris.fr (M. Lejoyeux).
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Summary

Objective.

The authors assessed the prevalence of domestic violence among patients examined in the emergency service of a general hospital. They compared the socio-demographic status and psychiatric comorbidity of victims of domestic violence and other patients.

Method.

An assessment was made on 126 consecutive patients received by the emergency service of Bichat-Claude Bernard hospital (Paris, France). Assessment of domestic violence was made through the use of a specific questionnaire.

Results.

The prevalence rate of domestic violence was 18% among patients examined by the emergency service. Thirty-five percent of the cases were physical violence, 22% sexual violence, 17% psychological violence and 26% multiple forms of domestic violence. Domestic violence had been going on for less than 1 month in only one case. In 74% of the cases, violence lasted for more than 1 year. No differences were found in terms of socio-demographic characteristics (age, marital status, rate of unemployment, sex ratio) and psychiatric comorbidity between victims of domestic violence and others.

Conclusion.

Patients seen in an emergency service must be identified as a population at risk for domestic violence (18%). These situations can be identified only by a systematic assessment using a standardized questionnaire.

Type
Short Communication
Copyright
Copyright © Éditions scientifiques et médicales Elsevier SAS 2002

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