History of violence and subjective health of mother and child. From The Childbirth and Health Cohort Study in Primary Care, Iceland
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care. 2016, 34 (4), 394-400. 10.1080/02813432.2016.1249060
Objective: To study the self-reported prevalence of experienced violence among a cohort of women about two years after giving birth, their health during pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and their experience of their child’s health. Setting and subjects: In 2011, a total of 657 women participated in phase III of the Childbirth and Health Cohort Study in Icelandic Primary Health Care, 18 to 24 months after delivery. The women had previously participated in phase I around pregnancy week 16 and phase II 5–6 months after delivery. Data were collected by postal questionnaires. Main outcome measures: Women’s reported history of experienced violence, sociodemographic and obstetric background, self-perceived health, the use of medications and their child’s perceived health. Results: In phase III, 16% of women reported experiencing violence. These women felt less support from their current partner (p < 0.001), compared to those who did not report violence. Their pregnancies were more frequently unplanned (p < 0.001), deliveries more often by caesarean section (p < 0.05), and their self-perceived health was worse (p < 0.001). They reported more mental and somatic health complaints, and their use of antidepressant drugs was higher (p < 0.001). Furthermore, women with a history of violence considered their child’s general health as worse (p = 0.008). Conclusions: Our study confirms that a history of violence is common among women. A history of violence is associated with various maternal health problems during and after pregnancy, a higher rate of caesarean sections and maternal reports of health problems in their child 18–24 months after birth.