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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


LARIZGOITIA, Itziar  and  ISAVIC et al. How does collective violence shape the health status of its victims?: Conceptual model and design of the ISAVIC study. Gac Sanit [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.3, pp.246-253. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: Epidemiologic research on collective violence (violence exerted by and within groups in pursuit of political, social or economic goals) is very scarce despite its growing recognition as a major public health issue. This paper describes the conceptual model and design of one of the first research studies conducted in Spain aiming to assess the impact of collective violence in the health status of its victims (study known as ISAVIC, based on its Spanish title Impacto en la SAlud de la VIolencia Colectiva). Methods: Starting with a comprehensive but non-systematic review of the literature, the authors describe the sequelae likely produced by collective violence and propose a conceptual model to explain the nature of the relationships between collective violence and health status. The conceptual model informed the ISAVIC study design and its measurement instruments. Results: The possible sequelae of collective violence, in the physical, emotional and social dimensions of health, are described. Also, the review distinguishes the likely impact in primary and secondary victims, as well as the interplay with the social environment. The mixed methodological design of the ISAVIC study supports the coherence of the conceptual model described. Conclusions: The ISAVIC study suggests that collective violence may affect the main dimensions of the health status of its victims, in intimate relation to the societal factors where it operates. It is necessary to validate these results with new studies.

Keywords : Violence; Health status; Epidemiologic methods.

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