Dermatologic disorders

Intimate Partner Violence in Patients with HS

A recent study published in Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery evaluated sexual assault and intimate partner violence in individuals with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). This is a new area of research; however prior studies have shown higher incidences of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in individuals with disabilities, and HS meets criteria for a disability, the researchers noted.

For the study, researchers examined whether individuals with HS are at significantly higher risk of intimate partner violence and sexual assault compared with individuals who have acne, a recognized disability. Participants who met criteria for HS and acne were recruited from a mid-sized university and a dermatology clinic. Two hundred and forty-three participants (n=128 for HS; n=115 for acne) were surveyed. Participants spoke English and were over the age of sexual consent. Group (HS and acne) differences on intimate partner violence and sexual assault were analyzed. Victimization within the past 12 months was measured using the Checklist for Controlling Behaviors, a measure of intimate partner violence, as well as the Sexual Experiences Survey-Short Form Victim, a measure of sexual assault.

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According to the study results, individuals with HS were significantly more likely to report being victimized by intimate partner violence. “Intimate partner violence was more frequently observed in individuals with HS. Health care providers should be aware of this issue when interacting with patients with HS,” concluded the researchers.

—Lisa Samalonis


Sisic M, Tan J, Lafreniere KD. Hidradenitis suppurativa, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault [Published online May 1, 2017]. J Cutan Med Surg. doi: 10.1177/1203475417708167.