Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 313909, 15 pages
Review Article

Mental and Physical Health and Intimate Partner Violence against Women: A Review of the Literature

1School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
2Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3Faculty of The Professions, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia

Received 29 August 2012; Accepted 15 December 2012

Academic Editor: Sajaratulnisah Othman

Copyright © 2013 Gina Dillon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Associations between intimate partner violence (IPV) and poor physical and mental health of women have been demonstrated in the international and national literature across numerous studies. This paper presents a review of the literature on this topic. The 75 papers included in this review cover both original research studies and those which undertook secondary analyses of primary data sources. The reviewed research papers published from 2006 to 2012 include quantitative and qualitative studies from Western and developing countries. The results show that while there is variation in prevalence of IPV across various cultural settings, IPV was associated with a range of mental health issues including depression, PTSD, anxiety, self-harm, and sleep disorders. In most studies, these effects were observed using validated measurement tools. IPV was also found to be associated with poor physical health including poor functional health, somatic disorders, chronic disorders and chronic pain, gynaecological problems, and increased risk of STIs. An increased risk of HIV was reported to be associated with a history of sexual abuse and violence. The implications of the study findings in relation to methodological issues, clinical significance, and future research direction are discussed.