“Women’s Mental Health: Intimate Partner Violence”
By Gunnur Karakurt (Department of Psychiatry at Case Western University)
Date: Tuesday 19th December, 2017
Intimate partner violence (IPV) often culminates in acute physical injury, sexual assault, and mental health issues. It is crucial to understand the healthcare habits of victims to develop interventions that can improve a victim’s quality of life and prevent future abuse. In this presentation, we will explore two studies focusing on both the mental and physical health needs of victims of violence. The first study aimed to explore the mental health needs of women residing in domestic violence shelters. For this purpose, qualitative and quantitative data was collected a domestic violence shelter. Hierarchical clustering was applied to quantitative data, and the analysis indicated a three-cluster solution. Data from the qualitative analysis also supported the differentiation of women into three distinct groups, which were interpreted as: (A) ready to change, (B) focused on negative symptoms, and (C) focused on feelings of guilt and self-blame. Motivated by these results, we also mined de-identified and aggregated Electronic Health Record data, with a view to identifying women’s health issues that are potentially associated with IPV. Our statistical analysis identified more than two thousand findings and diagnoses that are significantly more prevalent among victims of domestic abuse, as compared to the general population. These terms were classified into broad categories, including acute injury, chronic conditions, substance abuse, mental health, disorders, gynecological issues, and pregnancy related problems.
Gunnur Karakurt is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. Her research focuses on violence and emotional abuse in intimate relationships, as well as its consequences on health. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an AAMFT Approved clinical supervisor. In the past few years, she has investigated various aspects of relationship conflict to model the interplay among various factors that underlie the complex dynamics of intimate partner violence. To translate the findings of her research on violence into clinical intervention, she developed a clinical intervention strategy to conduct therapy with couples in conflict. In support of her efforts to extend her research into the neurophysiology of violence, she was awarded a KL2 training grant by NIH. She also worked extensively with the Domestic Violence Shelters and Rape Crisis Centers. She earned an Outstanding Young Professional Award from the International Association for Marriage & Family Therapy.