Differing symptoms of abused versus nonabused women in obstetric-gynecology settings

Stacey H. Kovac, Joshua C. Klapow, Kurt Kroenke, Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B.W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to document the prevalence rates of reported abuse in obstetric/gynecology settings and to characterize physical symptoms, function, and psychologic distress of women who report abuse. STUDY DESIGN: This was a descriptive study of 118 patients who reported physical or sexual abuse in the past year and 2800 patients who reported no abuse at seven obstetric/gynecology practices. The Patient Health Questionnaire measured psychiatric diagnoses, somatic complaints, and psychosocial stressors. The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 20 assessed health status, and self-reported health care use was measured. RESULTS: Four percent of women reported recent abuse. Patients who reported abuse had more psychiatric diagnoses, more severe psychologic distress, more somatic symptoms, more psychosocial stressors, more physician visits, and poorer reported health status compared with nonreporters of abuse. CONCLUSION: Enhanced recognition of possible abuse through screening may identify women in need of intervention and help to reduce the need for continued medical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-713
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Abuse
  • Obstetrics-gynecology
  • Patient Health Questionnaire
  • Symptom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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