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domestic abuse and mental health in the UK

The association between domestic abuse and depression and anxiety is well established. However, most work in this field is conducted in the US and rarely follows people up over longer periods of time, making it hard to understand fully the risk factors at play and the direction of the relationship. Researchers, publishing in the British Journal of Psychiatry, have for the first time looked at this issue in a UK, using the medical records of over 90,000 women spanning over 20 years. This is also the first time the relationship between domestic abuse and serious mental illness such as bipolar and schizophrenia has been investigated. The authors came to the SMC to discuss:

  • How is this study different to previous studies? And what more can it tell us about this relationship between domestic abuse and mental health?
  • Which mental health conditions are associated with domestic abuse and how strong are these associations?
  • Is this evidence of a direct causal relationship? What other factors may be involved?
  • With intimate partner violence being such an underreported issue, how accurate can research into its impacts be? How can we improve research in this area?



Dr Joht Singh Chandan, Academic Clinical Fellow in Public Health, University of Birmingham 

Prof Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre of Crime, Justice and Policing, University of Birmingham

Dr Tom Thomas, Clinical Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

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