Domestic violence increased in the great recession

July 13, 2020

Emergency room visits for domestic violence incidents in California more than tripled during the Great Recession compared to the years before, signaling a need to prepare for similar and more prolonged effects during the COVID-19 financial crisis, suggest University of California, Davis, researchers.

Conducting one of the first studies to date examining the impact of a modern recession on hospital and emergency room visits, researchers found that physical abuse in adults increased substantially between the time periods, with Black and Native American people being disproportionately affected. Violence against children did not show a marked increase. The results were published in Preventive Medicine in June.

"The results from our study shine a spotlight on the importance of domestic-violence-related screening, prevention and response during the next several months of the COVID-19 financial effects," said the study's primary author, Alvaro Medel-Herrero, project scientist for the UC Davis Center for Health and the Environment. "Notably, domestic violence is grossly under-reported, and cases that end up in the emergency room or result in a hospital stay are only the most egregious examples. This tells us there may be an even larger problem than the numbers can show."

The study's co-authors included Suzette Smiley-Jewel, of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Martha Shumway, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; Amy Bonomi, Michigan State University; and Dennis Reidy, School of Public Health, Georgia State University.

Study looked at 53,000 domestic violence episodes

The study's authors looked at more than 53,000 domestic-violence-related episodes, composed of both intimate partner violence as well as violence against elders and children, between 2000 and 2015. The numbers were drawn from California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, or OSHPD, and then broken down between the years during, before and after the Great Recession. While the Great Recession officially lasted less than two years, from December 2007 to June 2009, during which the gross domestic product contracted, the economic crisis produced long-lasting consequences for individuals as well as society as a whole, researchers said.

"Proactive outreach is especially needed for minoritized people, who may be especially isolated, experiencing disconnections from services, and facing extreme financial stress," said one of the co-authors, Bonomi, of Michigan State University.

Blacks more than three times more likely to be victims

Time series for the study were divided into pre-recession (January 2000-November 2007) and recession/post-recession (December 2007-September 2015) periods. Blacks were more than three times more likely to suffer domestic violence during the recessionary period when compared with other segments of the California population, according to the data. Statistics showed that there were 3.58 emergency room visits per 100,000 population compared to 10.42 emergency visits per 100,000 people for Blacks. Hospitalization rates remained relatively similar from the pre-recession as compared to the recession/post-recession period except for Native Americans, which nearly doubled.

Emergency visits vastly exceeded hospitalizations during the 2007-2015 time period.

Additionally, the number of California police calls for weapon-involved domestic violence episodes steadily increased from 2008 (65,219) to 2014 (75,102).

Costs associated with domestic violence

For the period analyzed (2000-2015), the estimated total charge for all analyzed domestic violence hospitalizations was more than $1 billion (data was not available for emergency department costs).

Length of hospital stays slightly increased during the recession/post-recession period as compared to the pre-recession period, yet the inflation-adjusted charge per hospitalization dramatically increased over time, according to the study.

Domestic violence rate does not correspond with other hospital visits

It is important to note that the described increase in domestic-violence-related hospitalizations during the recession does not correspond to a general trend in health care in California. For example, California cancer hospital rates dropped during the Great Recession, according to OSHPD data. However, an increasing demand for emergency care during the recession and post-recession period has been reported and may reflect limitations in accessing care in other parts of the health care system, researchers said.

The authors' research will continue.
-end-
The research was supported by a UC Davis Feminist Research Institute seed grant.

Full study available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315959/

University of California - Davis

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care 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.