Health impact of intimate partner violence and abuse among Puerto Rican women living in shelters in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico
The incidence and prevalence of intimate partner violence and abuse among Puerto Rican women has not been adequately studied in the island Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The dearth of research and the lack of awareness about the problem by health care providers and within the lay community influence the health status of women resulting from violence and abuse in Puerto Rico.
This research study used a descriptive-exploratory design to examine the health effects of intimate partner violence and abuse among 60 Puerto Rican women living in shelters located across the island. The purpose of the study was to examine the perceived health effects of intimate partner violence and abuse on the lives of these abused Puerto Rican women.
Four instruments (ISA-Index of Spouse Abuse, DA-Danger Assessment, HARASS-Harassment tool, RAND-36 (SF-36 v2)-Health Status Inventory), and two semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The interviews provided information on socio-cultural context and health care response experienced by the women.
The objective was to gain understanding of the health effects and determine if there was any link between the abuse and health effects. Secondly, the researcher explored and described the violence and abuse among Puerto Rican women, and brought to the analysis a theoretical understanding of the women's experiences specifically, how this abuse influences their health.
The results reflect the association between abusive and violent intimate relationships and poor health status and addressed recognition of the health effects of intimate partner violence. The findings revealed the need for planning, development and implementation of effective health care protocols, social advocacy and government policies to develop a surveillance system and educational programs that address this issue of intimate partner violence.
Advancing scholarship in the area of intimate partner violence is needed to generate concrete strategies designed to heighten public and professional awareness and to provide nursing leadership and policy development in this critical area of women's health.
Minority & ethnic groups
0453: Womens studies