Domestic Violence-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries in Women
Categories: Violence-Related Traumatic Brain Injury
What is the rate of occurrence and consequences of traumatic brain injury caused by domestic violence?
Past Studies by the American Psychological Association define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior including causing physical,
sexual, and/or psychological harm. Domestic violence is recognized as a major public health concern. Historically, most of the research pertaining
to domestic violence has focused on psychological issues. Studies indicate that a woman’s face, neck, and head are the locations most frequently injured
This Study attempted to survey 169 women who came to three metropolitan emergency departments with injuries and health issues directly
related to domestic violence within a 7 to 9 month period. The women were referred by the emergency room personnel to sexual assault-domestic violence
health staff who had been trained in the use of the survey and given resource and referral information about traumatic brain injuries. Fifty-one women,
or about 30% of the 169 women, agreed to or were able to complete the survey at the time of the emergency room visit. Forty-six women responded to
all items on the survey.
Of the 46 women, a total of 71 separate cases of physical assault were reported. Thirty-eight percent of the women reported multiple assaults. Overall, 35% of the survey participants were identified as possibly having sustained a mild traumatic brain injury and were referred to appropriate services.
Fourteen women, 30% of this group, reported that they experienced a loss of consciousness on at least one occasion. Fifteen percent of the women were hospitalized
as a direct result of injuries to the head. Sixty-seven percent of the women, both who did and did not experience a loss of consciousness, reported
symptoms associated with mild traumatic brain
Who May Be Affected By These Findings
Women in domestic violence relationships, researchers, healthcare personnel, domestic violence personnel, prevention specialists
The researchers could not explain why women with traumatic brain injuries caused by domestic violence appear to have less than average recoveries or appear
likely to develop
The researchers found that 67% of the women surveyed had symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury. Thirty percent of the women reported a loss of
consciousness after a blow to the head. Sixty percent reported no loss of consciousness following a blow to the
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Find This Study
Corrigan, J.D., Wolfe, M., Mysiw, J., Jackson, R.D., & Bogner, J.A. Early identification of mild traumatic brain injury in female victims of domestic violence. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 188, S71-S76.