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Sexual Violence and Antenatal Hospitalization

Authors

  • Lena Henriksen Mph,

    Doctoral Student, Corresponding author
    1. Oslo University Hospital, Section of Obstetrics at the Woman and Children's Division, Oslo University, Oslo, Norway
    • Address correspondence to Lena Henriksen, Section of Obstetrics at the Woman and Children's Division, Oslo University Hospital, PB 4950 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway.

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  • Siri Vangen MD, PhD,

    Gynecologist.The leader
    1. National Resource Centre for Women's Health at the Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
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  • Berit Schei MD, PhD,

    Professor,Associate Professor
    1. Department of Public Health and General Practice at the Faculty of Medicine, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
    2. St.Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
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  • Mirjam Lukasse MSc, PhD

    Post Doctor
    1. Department of Public Health and General Practice at the Faculty of Medicine, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
    2. Department of Health, Nutrition and Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway
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Abstract

Background

Studies have shown the negative impact sexual violence has on pregnancy outcome, yet the impact on antenatal hospitalization has been poorly examined. The aim of this study was to investigate if a history of sexual violence was associated with hospitalization during pregnancy.

Methods

A population-based national cohort study conducted by the Institute of Public Health, The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study. Women filled out questionnaires at 17 and 30 weeks' gestation. History of sexual violence was reported at three levels: pressured to sexual acts (mild), forced with violence (moderate), and raped (severe). The comparison group did not report sexual violence. Differences were assessed using Pearson's X2 tests and logistic regression analyses.

Results

Of 78,660 women, 12.0% were pressured to sexual acts, 2.8% forced with violence, and 3.6% reported rape. A history of sexual violence was associated with significantly more hospitalizations during pregnancy, 6.6 percent for mild, 8.7 percent for moderate and 12.5 percent for severe, compared to 5.8 percent for no sexual violence. Women were significantly more often admitted for hyperemesis, bleeding, threatening preterm birth, other reasons and admitted without giving any reason. Reporting severe sexual violence had an AOR for being hospitalized with hyperemesis or threatening preterm birth of 1.9 (95% CI 1.4–2.5), and 1.9 (1.3–2.7) respectively. Similarly, severe sexual violence was associated with being admitted more than once during pregnancy AOR 1.9 (1.3–2.7).

Conclusion

Women with a history of sexual violence reported significantly more antenatal hospitalizations during pregnancy than women without such a history.

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