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PREVALENCE OF ABUSE AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN CHOOSING CERTIFIED NURSE-MIDWIFE OR PHYSICIAN PROVIDERS

Authors

  • Carolyn M. Sampselle PhD, RNC,

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    • Carolyn M. Sampselle, PhD. RNC. is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. She is a member of the Organization for Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nurses.

  • Barbara A. Petersen EDD, CNM,

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    • Barbara A. Petersen, EDD, CNM, is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing where she is Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Program. She is a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and Sigma Theta Tau.

  • Terri L. Murtland MSN, CNM,

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    • Terri L. Murtland, MSN, CNM, is the coordinator of the Midwifery Service at the University of Michigan Medical Center. She is a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

  • Deborah J. Oakley PhD

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    • Deborah J. Oakley, PhD, is a professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. She is the principal investigator on the project. “Nurse Midwives and Physicians—Study of Comparisons” (NIH #5R01 NR01887).


Carolyn M. Sampselle, PhD. RNC, Division of Health Promotion/Risk Reduction, University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, Ml 48109–0482.

ABSTRACT

Despite the fact that violence against women is a widespread problem in the United States, many providers do not routinely screen for it, particularly if the woman is not from a lower socioeconomic group. This was a secondary analysis of survey data from 940 antenatal women in private CNM and MD practices. Median annual income was $40,000 to $49,000 and mean schooling completed was 15 years. It was found that 91 (9.7%) had a history of previous abuse and eight (0.9%) were currently in an abusive relationship. Women with a previous history of abuse were found in the CNM caseloads at higher than expected levels. Annual income was predictive of women currently being abused, but not for women with past history. Abused women had on average less education than nonabused, with the most marked difference seen in women reporting current abuse. These results provide further evidence that the problem of abuse is not restricted to women of lower socioeconomic status. The finding that women with history of abuse were more likely to appear in CNM caseloads adds further support to the need for routine screening.

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