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Riv Psichiatr. 2018 Nov-Dec;53(6):324-330. doi: 10.1708/3084.30766.

Psychological implications of abortion: a longitudinal study on two cohorts of women who recur to elective and therapeutic abortion.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
2
Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this work was to identify risk predictors of a negative psychological outcome among personal, situational and systemic characteristics of women who choose to interrupt a pregnancy by elective (e.g., not feeling ready for giving birth) or therapeutic means (e.g., fetal abnormalities).

METHODS:

A prospective study on two cohorts were conducted and focused on a group of women: the first recurred to elective abortion (VTP) (n=20) and the second recurred to therapeutic abortion (TTP) (n=30). The psychological distress was measured before and after abortion through the administration of two psychometric tests: SCL-90-r and CES-D. Dependent samples t-test was used to evaluate the tendency of the two cohorts' mean scores before and after abortion; repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the variance of mean scores of subgroups isolated for variables of interest before and after abortion.

RESULTS:

After the termination of pregnancy, in VTP a significant decrease between t-0 and t-1 mean score (p<0.05) was observed in all SCL-90-r's global scores and subscales: GSI (p=0.036), PST (p=.031), PSDI (p=0.004), SOM (p=0.009), DEP (p=0.032), ANX (p=0.036) and even in CES-D score of DEP (p=0.017) and SOM (p=0.011) subscales. In TTP a relevant decrease was found in SCL-90's SOM (p=0.023) and ANX, (p=0.016) subscales and in CES-D total score (p=0.020), POS (p=0.014) and SOM (p=0.09)subscales. In VTP group presence of partner support and absence of relational problems resulted as protective factors from a worse outcome.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study suggest that, following an induced abortion, women experienced a significant improvement in the mood state compared to the period before the event; poor partner support and relational problems related with the abortion emerged as risk factors for a significantly worse psychological outcome compared to other causes interruption of pregnancy.

PMID:
30667399
DOI:
10.1708/3084.30766

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