Health-Related Costs of Intimate Partner Violence: Using Linked Police and Health Registers

Tomomi Hisasue, Marie Kruse, Johanna Hietamäki, Jani Raitanen, Visa Martikainen, Sami Pirkola, Pekka Rissanen

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This study aims to estimate direct health-related costs for victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) using nationwide linked data based on police reports and two healthcare registers in Finland from 2015 to 2020 (N = 21,073). We used a unique register dataset to identify IPV victims from the data based on police reports and estimated the attributable costs by applying econometric models to individual-level data. We used exact matching to create a reference group who had not been exposed to IPV. The mean, unadjusted, attributable healthcare cost for victims of IPV was €6,910 per individual over the 5-year period after being first identified as a victim. When adjusting for gender, age, education, occupation, and mental-health- and pregnancy-related diagnoses, the mean attributable health-related cost for the 5 years was €3,280. The annual attributable costs of the victims were consistently higher than those for nonvictims during the entire study period. Thus, our results suggest that the adverse health consequences of IPV persist and are associated with excess health service use for 5 years after exposure to IPV. Most victims of IPV were women, but men were also exposed to IPV, although the estimates were statistically significant only for female victims. Victims of IPV were over-represented among individuals outside the labor force and lower among those who were educated. The total healthcare costs of victims of IPV varied according to the socioeconomic factors. This study highlights the need for using linked register data to understand the characteristics of IPV and to assess its healthcare costs. The study results suggest that there is a significant socioeconomic gradient in victimization, which could also be useful to address future IPV prevention and resource allocation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Nov 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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