Associations between intimate partner violence, depression, and suicidal behavior among women attending antenatal and general outpatients hospital services in Thailand
Background: Battered women are exposed to multiple types and different severity of intimate partner abuse, however, little is known about the relationship between severity and different types of intimate partner violence (IPV) (physical, sexual, psychological, and danger) and symptoms of depression and suicidal behavior in a sample of women attending antenatal care or general outpatient hospital services in Thailand.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among adult women who were consecutively sampled and screened for IPV in antenatal care and general outpatient clinics in nine randomly selected hospitals in two provinces in the central region. The measures included the “Severity of Violence Against Women Scale,” “Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale 10,” “Danger Assessment Scale,” and one item for suicidal behavior. Hierarchical regressions were used to assess the effects of the different types of IPV on depression and suicidal behavior.
Results: Of the final sample (N = 207) that screened positive for IPV, 49.3% scored positive for depression, and 17.6% reported suicidal threats or attempts in the past 12 months. One type of IPV (sexual) was significantly associated with depression, whereas psychological abuse and femicide risk or danger was correlated with suicidal behavior.
Conclusion: A high proportion of women with IPV suffered from depression and suicidal behavior. The study provides evidence of an association between the severity of IPV and mental health problems (depression and suicidal behavior). In assessing IPV, the different identified dimensions contributing to poor mental health should be incorporated.
Keywords: Danger, depression, intimate partner, physical violence, psychological abuse, sexual violence, Thailand