National Trauma Bank Study Reports 35% Increase In Domestic Violence Cases Interview with:
Dr. Tahereh Orouji Jokar, MD
International research fellow and
Dr Joseph Bellal Joseph, MD
Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery, Critical Care, and Burns
Department of Surgery
University of Arizona, Tucson

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: Domestic violence is a social evil and bears significant social, financial, medical, and personal implications. Frequently victims of domestic violence, present in a trauma center due to injuries from domestic violence. However, despite bearing such grievous significance, there is no standardized practice to screen for domestic violence. In this study we sought out to identify the incidence and trends of domestic violence to highlight the burden of the disease.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: In our study we reported an overall incidence of domestic violence to be 569.564/100,000 trauma admissions. Over the study period the rate of domestic violence increased from 490/100,000 (2007) to 680/100,000 (2012) trauma admissions. We observed an increasing trend of domestic violence in children, adults, and elderly. On sub-analysis of adults, we observed an increasing trend of violence in both male and female victims.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: The results of our study point out an important medical and social issue that needs aggressive intervention from all the components of society. Medical professionals are at the forefront of this problem as they have unique access to the victims of domestic violence. A global screening methodology implemented by physicians to identify these patients at earliest would greatly impact the overall efforts to improve the quality of life of these patients.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This study brings into light a very important social and medical problem. Yet due to limitations of the data certain questions remain un-answered. One very important study would be to assess the impact of implementation of a domestic abuse screening methodology on the incidence of the abuse and quality of life in identified patients. Further investigations should also identify areas of potential improvement in the care of these patients i.e. involvement of other medical and non-medical specialties as a combined treatment and rehabilitation effort.


Joseph B, Khalil M, Zangbar B, et al. Prevalence of Domestic Violence Among Trauma Patients. JAMA Surg. Published online September 09, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2386.

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Tahereh Orouji Jokar, MD and, & Dr Joseph Bellal Joseph, MD (2015). National Trauma Bank Study Reports 35% Increase In Domestic Violence Cases 

Last Updated on September 12, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD