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



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


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


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


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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