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ISRN Emergency Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 484681, 8 pages
Research Article

Prediction of Repeat Visits by Victims of Intimate Partner Violence to a Level III Trauma Centre

Child and Family Research Institute and School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T-1Z3, Canada

Received 30 August 2012; Accepted 30 September 2012

Academic Editors: A. Banerjee, L. V. Downey, and F. Folke

Copyright © 2012 Patricia Janssen and Kathleen Mackay. 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.


Background. The purpose of this study was to describe and contrast the population of persons presenting to a Vancouver hospital emergency department two or more times with those presenting once. Methods. Subjects for this study had disclosed intimate partner violence on at least one visit to Vancouver General Hospital Emergency Department during the study period 1997–2009. We compared sociodemographic characteristics, presenting complaints and disposition on discharge among single versus repeat visitors. Results. We identified 2246 single visitors and 257 repeat visitors. In a multivariate model, repeat visitors to the ER were more likely to be of First Nations (aboriginal) status, odds ratio (OR) 2.29, 95% confidence intervals (1.30–4.01); to have had a history of previous abuse 3.38 (1.88–6.08); to have received threats of homicide 2.98 (1.74–5.08); and to present with mental illness 3.03 (1.59–5.77). Police involvement was protective against repeat visits 0.54 (0.36–0.98). Conclusion. Persons with potential for multiple visits to the emergency room can be characterized by a number of factors, the presence of which should trigger targeted assessment for violence exposure in settings where assessment is not routine.