The researchers from Birmingham University say that opportunities to spot the signs of domestic abuse, and to tackle it, are being missed. "There does seem to be significant under-recording of domestic abuse within UK primary care. We are not saying that GPs should be asking the question more," said Dr Joht Singh Chandan, academic clinical fellow in public health and lead author. But they do believe there should be better sharing of such information between the public services.
The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at primary care records relating to 92,735 women in the UK between 1995 and 2017. It matched 18,547 women who had reported abuse with 74,188 women who had not. They made allowances for other factors that can play a part in mental health such as deprivation, smoking and drinking habits and body mass index, a measure of obesity.