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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2015 May;94(5):508-17. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12593. Epub 2015 Mar 3.

Prevalence of experienced abuse in healthcare and associated obstetric characteristics in six European countries.

Author information

1
Department of Health, Nutrition and Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the prevalence and current suffering of experienced abuse in healthcare, to present the socio-demographic background for women with a history of abuse in healthcare and to assess the association between abuse in healthcare and selected obstetric characteristics.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Routine antenatal care in six European countries.

POPULATION:

In total 6923 pregnant women.

METHODS:

Cross-tabulation and Pearson's chi-square was used to study prevalence and characteristics for women reporting abuse in healthcare. Associations with selected obstetric factors were estimated using multiple logistic regression analysis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Abuse in healthcare, fear of childbirth and preference for birth by cesarean section.

RESULTS:

One in five pregnant women attending routine antenatal care reported some lifetime abuse in healthcare. Prevalence varied significantly between the countries. Characteristics for women reporting abuse in healthcare included a significantly higher prevalence of other forms of abuse, economic hardship and negative life events as well as a lack of social support, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression. Among nulliparous women, abuse in healthcare was associated with fear of childbirth, adjusted odds ratio 2.25 (95% CI 1.23-4.12) for severe abuse in healthcare. For multiparous women only severe current suffering from abuse in healthcare was significantly associated with fear of childbirth, adjusted odds ratio 4.04 (95% CI 2.08-7.83). Current severe suffering from abuse in healthcare was significantly associated with the wish for cesarean section, and counselling for fear of childbirth for both nulli- and multiparous women.

CONCLUSION:

Abuse in healthcare among women attending routine antenatal care is common and for women with severe current suffering from abuse in healthcare, this is associated with fear of childbirth and a wish for cesarean section.

KEYWORDS:

Abuse; antenatal care; cesarean section; fear of childbirth; healthcare; violence against women

PMID:
25627169
DOI:
10.1111/aogs.12593
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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