Lifetime Exposure to Abuse, Crrent Stressors, and Health in Federally Qualified Health Center Patients

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Social Work


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the impacts of lifetime exposure to abuse and current stressors on health, an integrative concept of physical, mental and social health, among patients of a Federally Qualified Health Center.

Method: The sample included 1,055 patients (male: N = 346; female: N = 709) who were at least 18 years of age and completed an assessment on their first visit between January 2015 and March 2017 at a Federally Qualified Health Center. The assessment contained subscales of the DUKE Health Profile measuring physical, mental, and social health; four questions assessing lifetime exposure to abuse; and a relational and socioeconomic stressor checklist.

Results: Results from structural equation modeling analyses showed that for both male and female groups, lifetime exposure to abuse, relational stressors and socioeconomic-related stressors were strongly associated with health. In the male group, socioeconomic-related stressors were the strongest predictor of health, while in the female group, lifetime exposure to abuse was the strongest predictor of health.

Conclusions: Understanding the relationships between health and the combined factors of a lifetime exposure to abuse, relational stressors, and socioeconomic stressors can provide insight to patient care professionals who treat patients in lower income, underserved communities. Ecological Systems Theory provides a framework to plan interventions or to prevent potential negative outcomes associated with these stressors.

Publication Title

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

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