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Pub. Type:
Deleterious Effects of Criminal Victimization on Women's Health and Medical Utilization
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Pub. Date:
Study subjects were 413 adult women patients of a worksite-based health maintenance plan. Assessment of health status included questionnaires from the Rand HIE battery and medical chart-based data on health-service use. Findings indicate that severely victimized women, compared to nonvictims, reported more distress and less well-being, made physician visits twice as frequently in 1986, and had outpatient costs in 1986 that were 2 1/2 times greater. The severity of criminal victimization that a woman had sustained was a more powerful predictor of 1986 physician visits and outpatient costs than were demographics, subjective health status, or other stressors. Each increment in victimization severity was related to a 33-percent increase in physician visits and a 56-percent increase in outpatient costs. Heightened health service use was temporally linked to victimization, using prospective data for 2 years before the year of, and 2 years following crime among three groups of victims (noncontact crime, assault, and rape) and nonvictims. Victims' physician visits increased 15-24 percent during the year of the crime, and 31-56 percent during the following year relative to the number of visits during the two precrime years. In contrast, increases of 2 percent were observed among nonvictims during this period. The study concludes that criminal victimization has long-term deleterious effects on perceived health and leads to long-lasting increases in health service use. Implications are drawn for the primary care medical system in crime victim treatment that transcends the traditional focus on emergency care and forensic needs. source
NCJ 142215
United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice
Place of Production:
Washington, DC

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