Little is known on the specific relation between being a perpetrator or both a victim and perpetrator of intimate partner violence (IPV) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We assessed the association between HRQoL and abuse, considering men and women as victims, perpetrators or reciprocally.
Participants were adult men and women (n = 3,496), randomly selected from the general population of six European cities. The Revised-Conflict-Tactics-Scales and the Medical-Outcomes-Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) were used to measure IPV and HRQoL. The age-, education-, and city-adjusted mean scores[standard error] of the physical and of the mental SF-36 component summaries were used to compare victims-only, perpetrators-only, and those involved in both (bidirectional or reciprocal cases) with those not involved in past-year and lifetime physical assault and/or sexual coercion.
The physical component summary was significantly lower in women involved in past-year bidirectional physical assault compared with non-abused women. The mental component summary in women not involved in IPV was significantly higher than in those physically abused, regardless of type of involvement. Women victims-only of past-year sexual coercion and victims or involved in bidirectional concomitant physical and sexual IPV also presented lower scores in the mental component summary than women not involved in IPV. In men, significantly lower scores in the mental component summary were found in the past-year bidirectional physically assaulted group and among those involved bidirectionally in both physical and sexual IPV compared with men not involved in IPV.
Experiencing physical and sexual IPV is negatively associated with HRQoL. Lower scores in the mental component summary of the SF-36 are evident among female victims and among males and females involved in intimate partner violence as both victims and perpetrators when compared to females and males not involved in violence.