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Jundt, Katharina; Haertl, Kristin; Knobbe, Angelika; Kaestner, Ralph; Friese, Klaus; Peschers, Ursula M. (2009): Pregnant Women after Physical and Sexual Abuse in Germany. In: Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, No. 2: pp. 82-87


Background/Aims: The aim of our study was to evaluate the prevalence of abuse among pregnant women in Germany attending our antenatal outpatient clinic and to observe whether a history of abuse had consequences for women's feelings about their pregnancy. Methods: 455 women between the 35th and 42nd weeks of gestational age were included and were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire concerning their pregnancy, their actual psychological state, and their history of physical/sexual abuse. 600 questionnaires were distributed (return rate 75.8%), 70 women (10.4%) were excluded because of male companionship to ensure their safety in case that they were currently in an abusive relationship with the attending man. Results: 88 women (19.3%) reported a history of sexual and/or physical abuse. Pregnant women after physical and/or sexual abuse significantly more frequently associate negative feelings with their pregnancy than nonabused women. The Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) and the SCL-K-9 demonstrated significantly more negative feelings of depression and anxiety, strain, loneliness and less expectation of happiness for their future in abused women. Conclusion: Physical and sexual abuse are relevant problems among women in obstetric care that may complicate their pregnancies and make them feel more depressive. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel