Greater vigilance needed to tackle domestic abuse, says BMA

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 21 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1289
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    Doctors and other health professionals need to be more vigilant for signs of domestic abuse and should know what questions to ask so that they can take quick action, says a report from the BMA. Produced by the BMA's Board of Science, it recommends that all health professionals should have training in how to deal with domestic abuse.

    The report documents the four main types of domestic abuse—physical, sexual, psychological, and financial— which all have long term effects on the victim. Health problems that result can include fractures, burns, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain syndrome, arthritis, problems with hearing and sight, seizures, and headaches. Stomach ulcers, heart disease, and raised blood pressure are indirect consequences.

    Gene Feder, professor of primary care research and development, at Barts and the London NHS Trust, said that research among women who had been domestically abused …

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