School of Social Work, University of North Carolina
Address correspondence to Rebecca J. Macy, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building, 301 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27510; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca J. Macy, PhD, ACSW, LCSW, Joelle Ferron, PhD, Carmen Crosby, MSW; Partner Violence and Survivors' Chronic Health Problems: Informing Social Work Practice. Soc Work 2009; 54 (1): 29-43. doi: 10.1093/sw/54.1.29
Although most social work professionals may expect that women who experience partner violence will sustain acute physical injuries, social workers may be less knowledgeable about the chronic health problems with which violence survivors often struggle. To inform social work practice, we reviewed and synthesized the recently published research on health outcomes associated with partner violence victimization. We focused our review efforts on chronic physical and mental health conditions that social workers are likely to see in their practices. Using rigorous selection criteria, we selected 28 articles for review from over 3,500 found in our search. The review showed that although women who experience partner violence are likely to seek health services, they have poor overall physical and mental health, and their health needs are not addressed sufficiently by current health and human service systems. We offer social work practice, policy, and research recommendations to encourage comprehensive services that promote women's health and safety.