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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1998 Aug;79(2):173-8.

Emotional distress following induced abortion: a study of its incidence and determinants among abortees in Malmö, Sweden.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lund University, University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study incidence and determinants of emotional distress following induced abortion.

SETTING:

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lund University, University Hospital Malmö, Sweden.

SUBJECTS:

A series of 854 participants at 12-month postabortion follow-up, representing 66.5% of the 1285 women undergoing induced abortion at Malmö, 1989.

METHODS:

Analysis of data elicited at a semistructured interview 1 year after induced abortion, risk factors for emotional distress being determined in a "case" subgroup (n = 139) of women satisfying all the inclusion criteria (i.e., postabortion emotional distress, doubts about abortion decision, would not consider abortion again), as compared with a control group (n = 114) satisfying none of the inclusion criteria. The study design is a retrospective study.

RESULTS:

In the subgroup with emotional distress (duration ranging from 1 month to still present at 12-month follow-up), the following risk factors were identified: living alone, poor emotional support from family and friends, adverse postabortion change in relations with partner, underlying ambivalence or adverse attitude to abortion, and being actively religious.

CONCLUSIONS:

Thus, 50-60% of women undergoing induced abortion experienced some measure of emotional distress, classified as severe in 30% of cases. The risk factors identified suggest that it may be possible to ameliorate or even prevent such distress.

PMID:
9720837
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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