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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1998 Jan-Feb;27(1):64-9.

Safety behaviors of abused women after an intervention during pregnancy.

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1
Texas Woman's University, Houston 77030, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate an intervention protocol, administered during pregnancy, for increasing safety-seeking behaviors of abused women.

DESIGN:

Prospective, ethnically stratified cohort analysis.

SETTING:

Public prenatal clinics.

PARTICIPANTS:

Pregnant women reporting physical or sexual abuse in the year before or during the present pregnancy. One hundred thirty-two women met study criteria, received the intervention, and were followed for 1 year after the completion of the pregnancy.

INTERVENTION:

Three education, advocacy, and community referral sessions that included information on safety behaviors.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Adoption of safety behaviors by abused women. Safety behaviors were measured before the intervention, twice during pregnancy, and at 2, 6, and 12 months after completion of the pregnancy.

RESULTS:

Repeated measures analysis of variance showed a significant increase in adoption of each safety behavior (p < .0001), with most behaviors showing a significant increase after the first intervention session.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pregnant women who were abused and were offered an intervention protocol report a significant increase in safety behavior adoption during and after pregnancy. Abuse during pregnancy is common. Identification of abuse and immediate clinical intervention that includes information about safety behaviors can result in safety behavior adoption that may prevent future abuse and increase the safety and well-being of women and infants.

PIP:

This study evaluates an intervention protocol administered during pregnancy for encouraging safety-seeking behaviors of abused women. The participants were 132 pregnant women recruited from public prenatal clinics that reported physical or sexual abuse prior or during the present pregnancy. Data were collected from an assessment on pregnant women using the Abuse Screen and Safety Assessment. After completion of the Safety Assessment, the women received an intervention protocol. Each woman received the intervention three times during pregnancy: at entry into the study; and two additional times evenly spaced throughout pregnancy. In this group of 132 pregnant women who were abused, adoption of safety behaviors significantly increased after the first intervention session. Furthermore, the adoption of safety behavior occurred across all ethnic groups. Pregnant women, who were abused, were offered an intervention protocol report showing a significant increase in safety behavior adoption during and after pregnancy. Abuse during pregnancy is common and the identification of abuse and immediate clinical intervention that includes information about safety behaviors can result in safety behavior adoption that may prevent future abuse and increase the safety and well-being of women and infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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