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The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
This study was developed as part of a long-term collaboration between KHL, HBH, MK and JS. The first draft of the manuscript and the statistical analyses were devised by JS and discussed with KHL, HBH and MK. All authors contributed to the contents. CG revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between experienced physical violence and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) by comparing self-reported health status for individuals with and without experience of physical violence. Our hypothesis was that individuals exposed to violence would experience worse HRQoL than non-exposed individuals. We tested whether men and women and different age groups experience similar reductions in HRQoL, and the extent to which such differences might be associated with social circumstances and lifestyle conditions. Finally, we explored the HRQoL consequences of exposure to violence in a longer time perspective.
We used data from self-completed questionnaires in two Danish nationally representative, cross-sectional health interview surveys. Exposure to violence was indicated through specific survey questions (Straus’ conflict tactics scale) enquiring about different types of violence during the last 12 months. Health status of respondents was elicited by the EQ-5D and SF-36 questionnaires. The health status profiles were converted to health score indexes using the Danish algorithm for EQ-5D and the revised Brazier algorithm for SF-6D. Differences in score indexes between the exposed and non-exposed individuals were explored separately for men and women using ordinary least square regression with four age categories as explanatory variables.
In the 2000 and 2005 surveys, respectively, 4.9% and 5.7% of respondents indicated that they had been exposed to physical violence within the last 12 months. Exposure to violence was more prevalent in the younger age groups and more prevalent for men than women. Respondents exposed to violence had lower score indexes on both the EQ-5D and the SF-6D compared with the non-exposed. Respondents who reported exposure to violence in both 2000 and 2005 reported lower HRQoL than individuals who only reported exposure in one of the surveys.
The results of this study provide evidence for an association between exposure to physical violence and reduction in health-related quality of life.