Abuse Experiences, Substance Use, and Reproductive Health in Women Seeking Care at an Emergency Department.
ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Abuse experiences can have negative health consequences for women. Many women present to the emergency department for episodic, nonemergent care and may have unique needs as survivors of abuse. The purpose of this study was to describe child sexual abuse experiences, intimate partner violence, substance use, and reproductive health outcomes in a sample of adult women who were seeking care from a rural emergency department to better understand the health care needs of this unique population. METHODS: One hundred forty-five adult women (18-45 years old) were recruited at an emergency department in the southeastern United States. Questionnaires were used to assess for demographic characteristics, history of child sexual abuse (CSA), intimate partner violence, reproductive health, and substance use. RESULTS: In the sample, 42.8% of women (n = 62) reported a positive history of CSA and 34.7% of women (n = 49) experienced intimate partner physical violence during the past year. More than 46% of the women (n = 65) had harmful drinking patterns in the past year and more than 50% reported some type of substance use in the past 3 months. Women who experienced CSA had a significantly greater number of lifetime sexual partners, were more likely to report pain with sexual intercourse, and were more likely to report a medical history of an abnormal Papanicolaou smear. DISCUSSION: The women in this sample had high rates of abuse, harmful drinking patterns, and substance use and were at risk for sexually transmitted infections. Through screening for lifetime violence, including sexual violence, emergency nurses can be an important liaison between women who have experienced CSA and appropriate referrals within the health care system.
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ABSTRACT: Primary care physicians can play a unique role in recognizing and treating patients with alcohol problems. To evaluate the accuracy of screening methods for alcohol problems in primary care. We performed a search of MEDLINE for years 1966 through 1998. We included studies that were in English, were performed in primary care, and reported the performance characteristics of screening methods for alcohol problems against a criterion standard. Two reviewers appraised all articles for methodological content and results. Thirty-eight studies were identified. Eleven screened for at-risk, hazardous, or harmful drinking; 27 screened for alcohol abuse and dependence. A variety of screening methods were evaluated. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was most effective in identifying subjects with at-risk, hazardous, or harmful drinking (sensitivity, 51%-97%; specificity, 78%-96%), while the CAGE questions proved superior for detecting alcohol abuse and dependence (sensitivity, 43%-94%; specificity, 70%-97%). These 2 formal screening instruments consistently performed better than other methods, including quantity-frequency questions. The studies inconsistently adhered to methodological standards for diagnostic test research: 3 (8%) provided a full description of patient spectrum (demographics and comorbidity), 30 (79%) avoided workup bias, 12 (of 34 studies [35%]) avoided review bias, and 21 (55%) performed an analysis in pertinent clinical subgroups. Despite methodological limitations, the literature supports the use of formal screening instruments over other clinical measures to increase the recognition of alcohol problems in primary care. Future research in this field will benefit from increased adherence to methodological standards for diagnostic tests.Archives of Internal Medicine 08/2000; 160(13):1977-89. DOI:10.1001/archinte.160.13.1977 · 13.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous research suggests that childhood sexual abuse is associated with high rates of retrospectively reported medical utilization and medical problems as an adult. The goal of this study was to determine if abused females have higher rates of medical utilization using self-report and objective measures, compared with non-abused females. A further goal was to determine whether findings of prior research would be replicated when childhood physical abuse level was controlled. This study also examined the moderating impact of depressed mood on current health measures in this population. Six hundred and eight women recruited from a health maintenance organization completed self-report measures of health symptoms for the previous month and doctor visits for the previous year. Objective doctor records over a 2 year period were examined for a subset of 136 of these women. Results showed significantly more self-reported health symptoms and more self-reported doctor visits in abused participants compared with those who reported no childhood history of sexual abuse. Objective doctor visits demonstrated the same pattern with abused participants exhibiting more visits related to out-patient surgery and out-patient internal medicine. In addition, persons who were both sexually abused and depressed tended to visit the emergency room more frequently and to have more in-patient internal medicine and ophthalmology visits than sexually abused participants who reported low depressed mood and non-abused controls. These results replicate prior studies and suggest that current depression may moderate the relationship between sexual abuse and medical problems in adulthood.Psychological Medicine 10/2000; 30(5):1063-77. DOI:10.1017/S003329179900272X · 5.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The prevalence and distribution of gonococcal and chlamydial infections in the general population are poorly understood. Development of nucleic acid amplification tests, such as the ligase chain reaction assay, provides new opportunities to estimate the prevalence of untreated infections in the population. To estimate the overall prevalence of untreated gonococcal and chlamydial infections and to describe patterns of infection within specific demographic subgroups of the young adult population in Baltimore, Md. Cross-sectional behavioral survey based on a probability sample of Baltimore households with collection of urine specimens between January 1997 and September 1998. A total of 728 adults aged 18 to 35 years completed the interview portion of the study, and 579 of these respondents also provided a urine specimen adequate for testing. Prevalence of untreated infection, as measured by the percentage of specimens testing positive for gonococcal and chlamydial infection by ligase chain reaction, weighted to reflect variations in probabilities of sample selection from the population. Alternate estimates of the prevalence of recent treated infection were derived from clinically diagnosed cases reported to the Baltimore City Health Department and by diagnoses reported by participants in the survey. An estimated 5.3% (SE, 1.4%) of the population aged 18 to 35 years has an untreated gonococcal infection, and 3.0% (SE, 0.8%) is estimated to have an untreated chlamydial infection. While 7.9% (SE, 1.6%) of the population is estimated to have either an untreated gonococcal or chlamydial infection, estimated prevalence is substantially higher among black women (15.0%; SE, 3.7%). Few participants with untreated infections reported dysuria or discharge during the 6 months preceding testing. The estimated number of untreated gonococcal infections in the population (9241; SE, 2441) substantially exceeds both the number of such infections diagnosed among Baltimore adults aged 18 to 35 years and reported to the Baltimore City Health Department during 1998 (4566), and the estimated number of diagnoses derived using participants' reports for the 12 months prior to the survey (4708 [SE, 1918] to 5231 [SE, 2092]). The estimated number of untreated chlamydial infections (5231; SE, 1395) is also greater than the number of cases reported to the health department in 1998 (3664) but is slightly less than the estimated number of diagnoses derived using participants' reports of chlamydial infections diagnosed during the 12 months prior to the survey (5580 [SE, 1918] to 6975 [SE, 2441]). In 1997-1998, the estimated number of undiagnosed gonococcal and chlamydial infections prevalent in the population of Baltimore adults aged 18 to 35 years approached or exceeded the number of infections that were diagnosed and treated annually.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 03/2002; 287(6):726-33. · 30.39 Impact Factor