Researcher studies partner violence, psychosocial distress of Chinese female sex workers

April 30, 2013
Yan Hong, Ph.D.

Yan Hong, Ph.D.

Yan Hong, Ph.D., associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health, is lead author on a recently published study examining partner violence and the psychosocial distress experienced by female sex workers (FSWs).

In “Partner Violence and Psychosocial Distress among Female Sex Workers in China,” Dr. Hong and colleagues detail the results of surveys conducted with 1,022 FSWs from various commercial sex venues in southwest China. The study examined whether the rate that FSWs experienced partner violence had a connection to the level of mental and social distress they reported.

“Global literature documents pervasive partner violence against FSWs, especially its relationship with increased HIV risks,” Dr. Hong said. “However, studies on their experience of partner violence and psychosocial distress are limited.”

This study looked at partner violence committed by intimate spouses and boyfriends, as well as by clients of FSWs. A revised World Health Organization domestic violence scale and psychosocial measures were used by multiple indicators.

“This study is one of the first to examine the association between partner violence and psychosocial distress among FSWs in China,” Dr. Hong said. “The high prevalence of violence experienced and distress in this population suggests urgency for intervention.”

Additional study authors were Chen Zhang, M.P.H., from the Rollins School of Public Health-Global Health Institute; Xiaoming Li, Ph.D., from the Wayne State University School of Medicine; and Wei Liu, M.D., and Yuejiao Zhou, M.P.H., from the Guangxi Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The full article can be found online at PLOS ONE.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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