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Domestic violence and injuries: prevalence and patterns—a pilot database study to identify suspected cases in a UK major trauma centre
  1. Hollie Garbett1,2,
  2. Ben Carter1,3,
  3. Alison Gregory2,
  4. Helen Cramer2,
  5. Natalia V Lewis2,
  6. Karen Morgan2,
  7. Julian Thompson4,
  8. Gene Feder2,
  9. Philip Braude1
  1. 1 Department of Medicine for Older People, CLARITY (Collaborative Ageing Research) Group, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
  2. 2 Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  3. 3 Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, King's College London, London, UK
  4. 4 North Bristol NHS Trust, Severn Major Trauma Network, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philip Braude, Department of Medicine for Older People, CLARITY (Collaborative Ageing Research) group, Westbury on Trym, UK; philip.braude{at}


Background Victim-survivors of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) present to secondary care with isolated injuries to the head, limb or face. In the UK, there are no published studies looking at the relationship of significant traumatic injuries in adults and the relationship to DVA.

The primary objective was to assess the feasibility of using a tailored search method to identify cases of suspected DVA in the national audit database for trauma. The secondary objective was to assess the association of DVA with clinical characteristics.

Methods We undertook a single-centre retrospective observational cohort pilot study. Data were analysed from the local Trauma and Audit Research Network (TARN) database. The ‘Scene Description’ field in the database was searched using a tailored search strategy. Feasibility was evaluated with notes review and assessed by the PPV and prevalence. Secondary objectives used a logistic regression in Excel.

Results This method of identifying suspected cases of DVA from the TARN database is feasible. The PPV was 100%, and the prevalence of suspected DVA in the study period was 3.6 per 1000 trauma discharges. Of those who had experienced DVA, 52.7% were male, median age 43 (IQR: 33–52) and mortality 5.5%. Subgroup analysis of older people demonstrated longer hospital stay (p=0.17) and greater likelihood of admission to intensive care (OR 2.60, 95% CI 0.48 to 14.24).

Conclusion We have created a feasible methodology to identify suspected DVA-related injuries within the TARN database. Future work is needed to further understand this relationship on a national level.

  • trauma systems
  • multiple injury
  • older people
  • home

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data available on reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data available on reasonable request.

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  • Contributors HG and PB were involved with study design, data collection, analysis and preparation of the manuscript. BC was involved in study design, data analysis and preparation of the final manuscript. AG, HC, NVL and KM were involved in study design, data collection and preparation of the final manuscript. JT and GF were involved in study design and contribution to the manuscript. PB is guarantor of findings. All authors contributed to the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.