Physical Health and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence

Stephanie J. Woods, Rosalie J. Hall, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Danielle M. Angott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This correlational-predictive study addresses the associations between intimate partner violence (IPV) and physical health and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, including: 1) detailed physical health symptoms reported and health care sought by women in intimate abusive relationships, 2) relationships between physical health symptoms, IPV, and PTSD, and 3) unique predictors of physical health symptoms. An ethnically diverse sample of 157 abused women was recruited from crisis shelters and the community. The women averaged almost 34 years of age and had been in the abusive relationship for slightly more than 5 years. The women experienced physical health symptoms falling into 4 groups: neuromuscular, stress, sleep, and gynecologic symptoms. Women experiencing more severe IPV reported more physical health and PTSD symptomatology. PTSD avoidance and threats of violence or risk of homicide uniquely predicted physical health. More than 75% of the women had sought treatment from a health care professional in the previous 9 months. Implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-546
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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