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Domestic Violence Among Trauma Patients

Domestic Violence Among Trauma Patients

Domestic violence encompasses a wide variety of maltreatment, including neglect, abandonment, and emotional, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. The problem remains a significant healthcare burden throughout the United States, with recent national estimates showing that 1.5 million women and 830,000 men experience domestic violence each year. Data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services also show that four children die each day as a result of child abuse. In addition, about 14% of older adults experience some kind of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse each year. Trauma surgeons and emergency physicians are often at the forefront of the domestic violence problem. They are among the first who can identify and intervene in these challenging situations. “Recent studies suggest that few trauma surgeons and emergency physicians know the true incidence of this problem,” says Bellal Joseph, MD. To address this research gap, Dr. Joseph and colleagues had a study published in JAMA Surgery that assessed the national prevalence and trends of domestic violence among trauma patients.   Analyzing Trends For the investigation, the study team retrospectively analyzed prospective data from the National Trauma Data Bank on patients who presented to trauma from 2007 to 2012. Over 6 years, the authors identified trauma patients who experienced domestic violence using several diagnosis codes and stratified patients by age into three groups: Children (aged 18 or younger) Adults (aged 19 to 54). Elderly aged 55 and older).   Researchers identified 16,575 trauma patients who experienced domestic violence and the vast majority of cases involved children (61.7%) and adults (33.2%). The average age of trauma patients who experienced domestic violence was...
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