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Physical Violence During Pregnancy in France: Frequency and Impact on the Health of Expectant Mother

posted 23/08/2019

publication Matern Child Health J. 2019 Aug;23(8):1108-1116. doi: 10.1007/s10995-019-02747-y.


Maciel MNA1,2, Blondel B1, Saurel-Cubizolles MJ3.

Author information

1
INSERM UMR 1153- Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team (EPOPé), Center for Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cité, DHU Risks in Pregnancy, Paris Descartes University, Hôpital Tenon - Batiment Recherche 4 rue de la Chine, Paris, 75020, France.
2
Department of Public Health, Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, Brazil.
3
INSERM UMR 1153- Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team (EPOPé), Center for Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cité, DHU Risks in Pregnancy, Paris Descartes University, Hôpital Tenon - Batiment Recherche 4 rue de la Chine, Paris, 75020, France. marie-josephe.saurel@inserm.fr.

Abstract

Objectives Even during pregnancy women may suffer from violence. We estimated the prevalence of physical abuse during pregnancy, we analyzed the main risk factors and described the relationship between physical violence, psychological wellbeing and pregnancy outcome. Methods We used a national representative sample of births, in all public and private maternity units, in 2016 in France. Women were interviewed after delivery, on their living conditions and occurrence of physical violence at least once during pregnancy. The study of risk factors and pregnancy outcome was done with multivariable logistic regressions. Results Of 12,330 women included in the analysis 1.8% (95% CI 1.6-2.0) had been exposed to physical violence during pregnancy. Risk of violence was associated with the couple situation [women without a partner or in couple not cohabiting (OR 2.89, 95% CI 1.96-4.26)], household income (less than 3000 euros monthly), and state medical assistance coverage. Physical violence was more prevalent in case of a history of induced abortion or cannabis use during pregnancy. Psychological distress was more frequent with than without physical violence (e.g., 62% vs. 24% had a sadness period during pregnancy, p < 0.001). The risk of spontaneous preterm birth and transfer of the newborn to a neonatal intensive care unit were significantly higher among women experiencing physical violence during pregnancy compared to other women. Conclusions for Practice Main factors associated with increased risk of violence during pregnancy were socio-economics. The identification by caregivers of women exposed to violence during pregnancy needs to be improved to develop preventive and care strategies.

KEYWORDS:

Physical violence; Pregnancy; Psychological distress; Social characteristics

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-019-02747-y

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