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.
Copyright © 2011 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.