Symptoms associated with pregnancy complications along the Thai-Burma border: the role of conflict violence and intimate partner violence

Matern Child Health J. 2014 Jan;18(1):29-37. doi: 10.1007/s10995-013-1230-0.


To assess the association between lifetime violence victimization and self-reported symptoms associated with pregnancy complications among women living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Cross-sectional survey of partnered women aged 15-49 years living in three refugee camps who reported a pregnancy that resulted in a live birth within the past 2 years with complete data (n = 337). Variables included the lifetime prevalence of any violence victimization, conflict victimization, intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization, self-reported symptoms of pregnancy complications, and demographic covariates. Logistic generalized estimating equations, accounting for camp-level clustering, were used to assess the relationships of interest. Approximately one in six women (16.0 %) reported symptoms related to pregnancy complications for their most recent birth within the last 2 years and 15 % experienced violence victimization. In multivariable analyses, any form of lifetime violence victimization was associated with 3.1 times heightened odds of reporting symptoms (95 % CI 1.8-5.2). In the final adjusted model, conflict victimization was associated with a 3.0 increase in odds of symptoms (95 % CI 2.4-3.7). However, lifetime IPV victimization was not associated with symptoms, after accounting for conflict victimization (aOR: 1.8; 95 % CI 0.4-9.0). Conflict victimization was strongly linked with heightened risk of self-reported symptoms associated with pregnancy complications among women in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Future research and programs should consider the long-term impacts of conflict victimization in relation to maternal health to better meet the needs of refugee women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Human Rights Abuses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myanmar / ethnology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Thailand / ethnology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Warfare*
  • Young Adult