Relationship between domestic violence and postnatal depression among pregnant Chinese women

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 Jan;116(1):26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Oct 22.


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of domestic violence during pregnancy and postnatal depression, and to explore the relationship between domestic violence and postnatal depression among Chinese women.

Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, 846 pregnant women were screened with the Abuse Assessment Screen; 215 women completed the postnatal follow-up. All participants underwent psychosocial assessment, with the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale being used for the evaluation of postnatal depression.

Results: The overall prevalence of domestic violence during pregnancy was 11.3%, and the most common form of domestic violence was psychologic abuse. The follow-up interviews showed a higher prevalence of postnatal depression among women who had been abused during pregnancy (25.1%) than among those who had not (6.0%). Psychologic abuse during pregnancy, an unexpected pregnancy, an attitude of acceptance toward violence, and concern over the newborn's health were related with postnatal depression.

Conclusion: Domestic violence during pregnancy and related factors contributed to postnatal depression in a population of Chinese women. The findings emphasize the importance of intervention among vulnerable populations in low-income countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / etiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires