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Int J Womens Health. 2010 Aug 9;2:183-97.

Partner violence during pregnancy: prevalence, effects, screening, and management.

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Department of Family Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA.


The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy. Pregnancy IPV is a significant problem worldwide, with rates varying significantly by country and maternal risk factors. Pregnancy IPV is associated with adverse newborn outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm birth. Many mechanisms for how IPV may impact birth outcomes have been proposed and include direct health, mental health, and behavioral effects, which all may interact. Screening for IPV during pregnancy is essential, yet due to time constraints and few clear recommendations for assessment, many prenatal providers do not routinely inquire about IPV, or even believe they should. More training is needed to assist health care providers in identifying and managing pregnancy IPV, with additional research needed to inform effective interventions to reduce the rates of pregnancy IPV and resultant outcomes.


intimate partner violence; pregnancy; pregnancy risks; pregnancy screening

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