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Exploring the relationship between intimate partner violence, childhood abuse and psychiatric disorders among female drug users in Barcelona

Gail Gilchrist (Based at the School of Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich, London, UK, and was previously employed at the Substance Use Disorders Research Group, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM)‐Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain)
Alicia Blázquez (Based at the Substance Use Disorders Research Group, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM)‐Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain)
Marta Torrens (Based at the Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addiction (INAD), Barcelona, Spain, and Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, UK)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 18 May 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper's aim is to examine the relationship between intimate partner violence, childhood abuse and psychiatric disorders among 118 female drug users in treatment in Barcelona, Spain.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary analysis of a cross‐sectional study of the psychiatric, behavioural and social risk factors for HIV. DSM‐IV disorders were assessed using the Spanish Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders; the Composite Abuse Scale assessed intimate partner violence and the Child Maltreatment History Self‐Report assessed childhood physical and sexual abuse.

Findings

The odds of experiencing intimate partner violence were 2.42 times greater among those with any depressive disorder (95 per cent CI 1.13, 5.20), over three times greater for those who reported ever attempting suicide (OR 3.20; 95 per cent CI 1.29, 7.94), met criteria for borderline personality disorder (OR 3.05; 95 per cent CI 1.31, 7.11), had been abused in childhood (OR 3.38; 95 per cent CI 1.45, 7.85) or currently lived with a substance user (OR 3.74; 95 per cent CI 1.29, 10.84). In multiple logistic regression, only living with a substance user (OR 3.42; 95 per cent CI 1.08, 10.86) and a history of childhood abuse (OR 2.87; 95 per cent CI 1.05, 7.86) remained significant in the model examining intimate partner violence victimisation.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample size, together with the fact that the study was not originally powered to examine differences in intimate partner violence may have increased the possibility of type II errors.

Originality/value

Histories of psychiatric disorders, intimate partner violence and childhood abuse are common in female substance users in treatment. Research suggests that such histories result in poorer treatment outcomes. Histories of intimate partner violence and childhood abuse should be identified and addressed in substance abuse treatment to enhance treatment outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Gilchrist, G., Blázquez, A. and Torrens, M. (2012), "Exploring the relationship between intimate partner violence, childhood abuse and psychiatric disorders among female drug users in Barcelona", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 46-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/17570971211241895

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited