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Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Feb;107(2 Pt 1):348-54.

Women's views of prenatal violence screening: acceptability and confidentiality issues.

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  • 1the Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus, 43210, USA.



The purpose of this research was to address the need for evidenced-based practices for violence screening by identifying women's perceptions of, and experiences with, prenatal violence screening.


Audio- and video-enhanced anonymous computer interviews were completed by women in 2 Level III postpartum units.


The sample was composed of 519 primarily African-American and white women who were educationally and economically diverse. Although 312 women (60.1%) reported being screened for violence by a health care provider at some point during their pregnancy, only 201 of 519 (38.7%) were asked by their prenatal care provider, with the remaining women reporting that they were screened during emergency room, triage visits, and labor and delivery admission. Of those who were screened by their prenatal care provider 195 of 201 (97%) women stated that they were not embarrassed, angry, or offended when assessed. Of the 66 women who were both abused and screened during their pregnancy, only 11 women disclosed abuse, with a resulting disclosure rate of 16.7%; however, 29 abused women who denied abuse to their health care provider stated that they would have changed their response if they had known that violence disclosure was not reportable in their state unless the victim was seriously injured or was wounded with a lethal weapon.


This study provides evidence that the great majority of pregnant women are not offended when screened for domestic violence and may increase their disclosure if they are told about state reporting mandates that preclude mandatory reporting for adults.



[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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