Quality of life, psychological distress and violence among women in close relationships: A population-based study in Finland

Tomomi Hisasue, Marie Kruse, Jani Raitanen, Eija Paavilainen, Pekka Rissanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to examine associations between exposure to violence, quality of life, and psychological distress. Women aged 19-54 years who had been exposed to violence by someone in a close relationship were compared with women unexposed to violence in Finland. We also aimed to investigate associations between different forms of violence (physical, sexual, emotional, or any combination of these) with quality of life and psychological distress. Methods: We selected a sample of 22,398 women who had returned self-completed questionnaires from a Finnish population-based health survey between 2013 and 2016. Exposure to violence during the past year was assessed through specific questions from the survey. The EUROHIS-QOL 8-item index was used to measure quality of life, and ordinary least square regressions were fitted. The mental health inventory (MHI-5) was used to measure psychological distress. We investigated associations with multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: Among women in Finland, the prevalence of exposure to violence in any type of close relationship during the past year was 7.6%. Women who had been exposed to violence had significantly worse scores of the EUROHIS-QOL 8-item index, and psychological distress was significantly worse (p < 0.001), compared with unexposed women. Strong associations were found between combinations of violence and both quality of life (coefficient-0.51, p < 0.001) and mental health (odds ratio 4.16, 95% confidence interval 3.44-5.03). Compared with women who had been exposed to violence by a stranger, women who had been exposed to violence by someone in a close relationship had significantly lower quality-of-life scores (p < 0.001). Conclusions: This study found that experience of close relationship violence had a negative influence on both quality of life and psychological distress among women in the general Finnish population. Comparison with victims of violence by strangers shows that some of the lower quality-of-life scores among victims are driven by the perpetrator and victim being in a close relationship. Preventive policies in primary care settings aimed at screening and educating young people should be considered as an early form of intervention to reduce the negative mental health consequences of violence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalBmc Women's Health
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • EUROHIS-QOL 8-item index
  • Finland
  • Psychological distress
  • Quality of life
  • Violence

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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