Abstract

Background: Pregnancy by itself, imposes great physical and psychological pressures on a person and consequently, coupled with other stressors such as violence, can have adverse effects on the fetus and mother. Objective: To assess the prevalence of domestic violence in pregnant women and maternal and infants’ outcomes.

Methods: This is a descriptive study using a questionnaire. Data were collected from 725 women who delivered their babies at Shariati Hospital in Bandar Abbas in the summer and autumn of 2013. The questionnaire consisted of four parts: demographic characteristics, factors affecting violence, areas of violence (physical, emotional, sexual) and maternal and fetal outcomes. Data analysis was performed by SPSS 18 using descriptive statistics, t-test, Chi-square, and logistic regression.

Results: The prevalence of physical, sexual and psychological violence were 6.5, 14.8 and 9.9 %, respectively. The variables of age, duration of marriage, previous marriage experience and the husband’s addiction, had a significant relationship with applying physical violence of the husband. There was significant correlation between physical violence and maternal outcomes (p<0.000). There was a statistically significant association between physical violence and low birth weight and growth delay in the uterus (p=0.033).

Conclusion: Due to the relatively high violence in pregnancy, and its impact on maternal and neonatal outcomes, it is suggested that violence screening programs in the health system and educating health professionals and women at risk and also the implementation of programs to protect these women, can be effective in reducing the cycle of violence and its negative consequences.

 

Keywords: Domestic violence, Women, Maternal outcome, Neonatal outcome
 
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