To analyse the domestic violence among pregnant women and its adverse maternal and perinatal outcome.
Design: Prospective cohort study
Setting: Tertiary Hospital in Bangalore
Sample: Antenatal women above 34 weeks of gestation attending the outpatient department and admitted in the antenatal and labour ward for a period of one year.
Methods: Eight hundred antenatal women fulfilling inclusion criteria were screened using a pretested questionnaire. The women were divided into 2 groups, those who were positive for domestic violence and those who were negative and followed up till outcome of pregnancy. Data was analyzed for statistical significance using SPSS version 16.
Main outcome measures: To determine the prevalence of domestic violence and the adverse pregnancy outcome secondary to domestic violence during pregnancy.
Results: The prevalence of domestic violence in our study was 52.8%. There was a positive association between the presence of medical and obstetric complications, presence of risk factors and increased incidence of domestic violence. The neonatal admissions of babies of mothers subjected to domestic violence were 41.2%. The incidence of preterm babies was 12%. Perinatal morbidities were also higher with babies born to abused women. Puerperal complications like lactation failure and other postpartum psychiatric problems did not have any relation to domestic violence.
Conclusion: Domestic violence is a very sensitive issue due to fear of reprisal, is under reported. Well-designed screening protocols and counseling options should be put in place so that women get timely care.