Women's health research findings presented by University of Pittsburgh scientists

March 25, 2004

HOUSTON, March 25 - The clinical and basic science research findings of more than a dozen studies will be presented by researchers from the Magee-Womens Research Institute, which is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, at the 51st annual meeting of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation. Scientific sessions take place March 24 to 27 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston. Among these findings are:

Success reported in creating a domestic violence intervention program

An intervention strategy for intimate partner violence was designed and tested successfully, according to Judy Chang, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

To create the program, investigators interviewed 21 women who had reported a past or current history of domestic violence, Dr. Chang noted. They also talked to nine clinicians and held three focus group discussions with participation by nurses, medical assistants and social work professionals.

"Including patients and providers in the project allowed us to tailor an intervention to meet their needs," said Dr. Chang, who also is an assistant investigator at the Magee-Womens Research Institute. "Patients wanted - and used - resource information."

Informational materials including posters, brochures and tear-off fliers were composed and made available for distribution to patients. These materials were monitored weekly for six months to determine how many were taken by patients. In addition, investigators noted calls to a domestic abuse hotline.

"After we began, some 43 brochures and 25 tear-off fliers were taken from the clinic every month," said Dr. Chang. "And in the six months after our program, the local women's center got 12 inquiries from women who had heard about the hotline in the obstetrics-gynecology clinic - up from just one in nine months. Referrals to social workers went up to 12 a month from nine a month."

In addition, investigators designed a useful computerized screening tool to help health care providers identify possible victims of intimate partner violence, Dr. Chang said.

Women found the computerized screening survey easy to complete, and felt more comfortable in such a setting because it provided valuable information while preserving anonymity, a critical factor for many patients, she said.

Additional authors include Sarah H. Scholle, Ph.D.; Patricia A. Cluss, Ph.D.; Lynn W. Hawker, Ph.D.; Diane Dado; Raquel Buranosky, M.D.; Carolyn Hughes, M.S.W.; and Melissa McNeil, M.D., MPH.

The risk of preeclampsia rises with increases in body mass index before pregnancy

Rigorous analysis of data on 1,188 women pregnant with their first child with respect to body mass index (BMI) and risk of preeclampsia reveals a sharp increase in risk from a BMI of 16 to 35, according to Lisa M. Bodnar, Ph.D., MPH, R.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the Magee-Womens Research Institute.

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy that is potentially life threatening to both mother and baby. It affects some 5 percent of first pregnancies. A measure of body fatness, BMI is derived by a formula using weight and height. A BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight for women. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

"The overall incidence of preeclampsia was 4.2 percent," said Dr. Bodnar. "After adjusting for other factors such as age and smoking, we found that preeclampsia risk increased along with BMI."

Compared with a BMI of 21, preeclampsia risk was two-fold for a woman with a BMI of 26, three-fold for a woman with a BMI of 30 and four-fold for a woman with a BMI of 34, she said.

"With the rate of obesity increasing in the United States, this is a worrisome development," Dr. Bodnar said. "However, our results suggest that it's possible even a small reduction in BMI could reduce preeclampsia risk."

Additional authors include Nina Markovic, Ph.D.; Gail Harger and James M. Roberts, M.D.
CONTACT: Michele D. Baum
Clare Collins
PHONE: 412-647-3555
FAX: 412-624-3184
E-MAIL: baumMD@upmc.edu

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Related Domestic Violence Articles from Brightsurf:

As domestic violence spikes, many victims and their children have nowhere to live
COVID-19 has left many victims of domestic violence facing difficulties feeding their children and accessing services for safe housing, transportation and childcare once they leave shelters, according to a Rutgers study published in the journal Violence Against Women.

New study shows increase in domestic violence injuries during COVID-19
There was a higher incidence and severity of physical intimate partner violence (IPV) among patients seen at a large, academic medical center in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the prior three years, according to a new study.

Domestic violence increased in the great recession
Researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected.

Mothering in domestic violence: Protecting children behind closed doors
As emerging data shows an alarming rise of domestic violence during the pandemic, researchers at the University of South Australia are urging practitioners to look beyond clinical observations and focus on the strengths that mothers exercise to protect their children from domestic abuse.

Training family doctors to better support domestic violence survivors
Women who are experiencing domestic violence feel better supported, more confident and less depressed when they are counselled by trained family doctors, according to new research.

Domestic violence reduces likelihood of mothers breastfeeding in developing countries
Mothers who have suffered from domestic violence are substantially less likely to follow recommended breastfeeding practices in low to middle-income countries, a new study shows.

Treatment for sexual and domestic violence offenders does work
A first-of-its-kind meta-study has found that specialised psychological programmes for sexual and domestic violence offenders have led to major reductions in reoffending but best results are achieved with consistent input from a qualified psychologist.

Study: Brain injury common in domestic violence
Domestic violence survivors commonly suffer repeated blows to the head and strangulation, trauma that has lasting effects that should be widely recognized by advocates, health care providers, law enforcement and others who are in a position to help, according to the authors of a new study.

Dentists can be the first line of defense against domestic violence
New findings indicate that oral biomarkers may help health providers identify victims of domestic violence.

Radiologists can help identify victims of domestic violence
Radiologists may play a crucial role in identifying signs of intimate partner violence, a type of domestic violence, according to a new study.

Read More: Domestic Violence News and Domestic Violence Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.