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A population based study examining the impact of interpersonal violence victimisation on mental health : report to the Criminology Research Council

Abstract

Interpersonal violence victimisation (interpersonal violence) is a significant public health issue both in terms of its impact on the community and the health care system at a national and international level. This is the report of a population-based, retrospective study of interpersonal violence in Western Australia that was undertaken using the Western Australian Data Linkage System. This is a unique inter-linking system of hospital and other health records which was developed in Western Australia which systematically links administrative health data such as the morbidity, mortality and mental health data. The Data Linkage System was used to identify every individual in WA who was admitted to hospital or killed as a result of an injury inflicted by others. This information was linked to any past admission for a mental illness. This is the first Western Australian population-based study to investigate the prevalence and association between mental illness and violence from the perspective of the victims of interpersonal violence. The results of the research have provided a thorough description of the size and nature of interpersonal violence in Western Australia from 1990 to 2004. Secondly, it has aided in the identification of pertinent risk factors associated with violence victimisation, both in the population as a whole and specifically among people with mental illness. Thirdly, the health system costs of interpersonal violence victimisation were calculated and the share of these costs attributable to patients with mental illness.

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