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Domestic Violence Affects Infant Mortality

Domestic Violence Affects Infant Mortality Despite spending more money on health care than any other country in the world, the United States lags behind many countries in infant mortality related to pre-term birth or low birth weight outcomes.

Sadly, some of the poor outcomes have been linked to domestic violence. In a new study, researchers argue that providers need better training on recognizing domestic violence, as well as training on how to effectively counsel mothers and children and put them in contact with appropriate channels for care.

Tina Bloom, Ph.D., from the University of Missouri, recommends training for health care providers to recognize signs of domestic violence and connect abused women with resources in their communities.

Policymakers are aware that domestic violence often goes unrecognized and is underreported. Accordingly, objectives in “Healthy People 2020” – a 10-year plan released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — include providing support for those who work to prevent domestic violence.

“Health care providers are not well trained to routinely screen or recognize the signs of domestic violence,” Bloom said.

“They don’t know how to ask about abuse, what to say or how to connect abused women with help. We need to engage with current students, our future health care providers, to bring this issue to the forefront.”

According to Bloom, addressing maternal-child health disparities goes beyond the issue of domestic violence. Abused women need access to resources for finding employment, affordable and safe housing, financial assistance, transportation and health care.

These factors, defined in Healthy People 2020 as social determinants of health, heavily influence women’s responses to violence and health outcomes of women and children.

“Healthy moms produce healthy babies and together they give rise to a healthy population,” Bloom said.

“As a maternal-child health researcher, I am particularly pleased that the Healthy People objectives have expanded to include injury and violence prevention for women and children and talk explicitly about these key social determinants of health.”

Source: University of Missouri

Domestic Violence Affects Infant Mortality

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Domestic Violence Affects Infant Mortality. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.