Intimate partner violence and ways of coping with stress: cross-sectional survey of female patients in Russian general practice

Natalia Lokhmatkina, Roxane Agnew-Davies, Ceire E Costelloe, Olga Yu. Kuznetsova, Irina M. Nikolskaya, Gene S Feder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
319 Downloads (Pure)


Background. Despite WHO guidelines on health service responses to intimate partner violence against women (IPV) general practitioners often overlook the problem. Training on IPV addresses general practitioners’ barriers to asking women patients about abuse and responding appropriately. One of the barriers is stereotype of women as passive victims. Little is known about coping behavior of women patients with a history of IPV.
Objectives: 1) to compare problem- and emotion-focused coping used by patients who have experienced IPV with those who have not; 2) to examine whether greater coping resources (health, education, employment, and income) would be associated with more problem-focused coping.
Methods. The Russian Ways of Coping Questionnaire was administered to every fifth woman who participated in a cross-sectional survey on IPV prevalence in 24 St Petersburg surgeries. Linear regression was used (n = 159) to test associations between life-time IPV, coping resources, and ways of coping.
Results. Mean problem-focused coping scores were 0.2-4.7 units higher in those patients who have experienced IPV compared to those who have not (95% CI -4.2, 11.9; p = 0.16-0.92), while mean emotion-focused coping scores were 2.5-4.2 units higher (95% CI -3.0, 11.0; p = 0.12-0.57). After adjustment for coping resources there was no evidence for an association between IPV and problem-focused coping.
Conclusions. Patients who have experienced IPV use as much problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, as those patients who have not experienced IPV. These findings should be incorporated into training on IPV to address general practitioners’ stereotypes towards patients who have experienced IPV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2015


  • Intimate partner violence, partner abuse, domestic violence, general practice, coping behavior, women


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