BACKGROUND: To assess the effects of demographic factors on mental illness admission for victims of interpersonal violence.
METHODS: A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted to investigate victims of violence using the 1990-2004 linked data extracted from the Western Australia Hospital Morbidity Data System and the Mental Health Information System. Factors associated with the risk for hospitalization for mental illness were assessed by logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Among the 25,427 victims admitted to hospital for at least one episode of interpersonal violence during the study period, 6395 (25%) had been hospitalized with a mental illness diagnosis. Female [odds ratio (OR) 1.54, 95% CI 1.40-1.63] and Indigenous (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.34-1.57) victims of violence were significantly more likely to be admitted for mental illness. The presence of additional co-morbidity also increased the risk (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.44-1.54). Other variables that significantly increased the risk of mental illness admission were advancing age, other methods of assault and victims who had been separated, divorced or widowed.
CONCLUSIONS: The results are beneficial for designing and implementing intervention strategies to reduce the adverse consequences of interpersonal violence particularly for women and Indigenous victims of violence.