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Journal Article


Palm A, Hogberg U, Olofsson N, Skalkidou A, Danielsson I. J. Interpers. Violence 2016; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Umeå University, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2016, SAGE Publishing)






Youth is a period in life when the risk of violence victimization is high and association between victimization and ill health is well established. Youth rarely reveal violence victimization to health professionals if not directly asked but favor health professionals asking about victimization. The study's primary aim was to examine health outcomes in young women being routinely asked about violence victimization and offered subsequent support, compared with controls, at 12-month follow-up. Secondary aims were to examine to what extent routine inquiry altered the consultation and re-victimization rates during the study period. A randomized controlled intervention study was conducted at Swedish youth health centers. Participants assigned to the intervention group were asked structured questions about violence. Victimized participants received empowering strategies and were offered further counseling. Participants in the control group completed questionnaires about victimization after the visit. Both groups answered questions about sociodemographics and health, constructed from validated instruments. A questionnaire was administered to all participants 12 months after baseline. Of 1,445 eligible young women, 1,051 (73%) participated, with 54% of the participants completing the 12-month follow-up. Lifetime violence victimization was reported by 53% in the intervention group and 60% in the control group, ns. There were no significant differences in health outcomes, between baseline and 12-month follow-up, within either group or between groups. Re-victimization rates were 16% in the intervention group and 12% in the control group, ns. Of victimized young women in the intervention group, 14% wanted and received further counseling. Routine inquiry about violence victimization and empowering strategies were feasible within ordinary consultations at youth health centers but did not demonstrate improved health outcomes at 12-month follow-up compared with controls. Questions about violence led to a high degree of disclosure, and 14% of victimized young women in the intervention group received further counseling as a result.

© The Author(s) 2016.

Language: en


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