Prevalence of intimate partner abuse among nurses and nurses' aides in Mexico

Claudia Dı�?az-Olavarrieta, Francisco Paz, Claudia Garcı�?a de la Cadena, Jacquelyn Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background. Nurses are the health professionals most frequently involved in the diagnosis and treatment of victims of family violence (FV). Understanding their personal experience with victimization is the key to shaping an appropriate role as advocates for medical recognition of FV and as integral members of the screening teams. We sought to determine the lifetime prevalence of intimate partner abuse among them and identify its risk factors. Methods. In our cross-sectional study, 1,150 registered nurses and nurses' aides at 11 urban hospitals in Mexico City self-administered an anonymous survey. We calculated descriptive statistics, Fisher exact tests, and multivariate logistic regression models to analyze physical, sexual, and emotional abuse during adulthood. Results. Physical/sexual abuse during adulthood was 13% for nurses' aides and 18% for nurses. Similar proportions (13% of nurses' aides and 14% of nurses) also reported childhood physical/sexual abuse. Additional respondents (39% nurses' aides, 42% nurses) reported emotional abuse during adulthood. Detecting no significant differences in abuse patterns between the two groups, we combined occupations for all subsequent analyses.ResultsBeing separated or divorced (vs. married) (Apr = 3.41, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.81-6.44) and having suffered physical/sexual abuse during childhood (Apr = 3.39, 95% CI: 2.26-5.08) were associated with physical/sexual abuse in adulthood. The same variables were associated with adult emotional abuse (separated/divorced: Apr = 5.33, 95% CI: 2.61-10.85, and childhood physical/sexual abuse: Apr = 2.58, 95% CI: 1.79-3.75). Younger women (between the ages of 23 and 28 years) reported more emotional abuse (Apr = 2.10, 95% CI: 1.48-2.98). Conclusions. Counseling for abused nursing staff may help break the cycle. Physical/sexual partner abuse among nurses appears lower than among the general Mexican population, but remains worrisome. Battling childhood abuse might prevent intimate partner violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Medical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Child abuse
  • Family violence
  • Female health workers
  • Intimate partner abuse
  • Nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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