Reproductive health in women with serious mental illnesses
Article first published online: 8 OCT 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 23, Issue 9-10, pages 1283–1291, May 2014
How to Cite
Özcan, N. K., Boyacıoğlu, N. E., Enginkaya, S., Dinç, H. and Bilgin, H. (2014), Reproductive health in women with serious mental illnesses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23: 1283–1291. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12332
- Issue published online: 10 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 8 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 FEB 2013
- family planning;
- female psychotic/psychiatric patient;
- maternal characteristics;
- reproductive health;
- serious mental illness;
- sexual health
Aims and objectives
To determine what problems female psychiatric patients have in terms of reproductive health.
The reproductive health problems faced by female psychiatric patients are matters that have been neglected in the areas of both psychiatry and women's health. This study aims to make a contribution from Turkey to the literature in this neglected field.
The study is descriptive and was conducted with 292 female patients treated in an acute inpatient psychiatric ward.
Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and a questionnaire based on the literature and prepared by the researchers which was designed to determine the kinds of reproductive health issues the patients were experiencing.
It was found that compared with healthy women, the distinctive features of the participants in terms of sexuality were more negative; in particular, patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder were more likely to have been forced by their partners to have sex, they had suffered from rape or sexually transmitted diseases, the majority of those who had previous sexual experience had tried to use contraceptives but had been unable to continue using them, they were most likely to choose the method of withdrawal for contraception, their rates of pregnancy and abortion were high, they received less antenatal care, and they were more likely to have smoked during pregnancy.
It was found that female patients with psychiatric disorders had more negative attributes with regard to marriage, sexuality, family planning, maternal characteristics and pregnancy, compared with a corresponding healthy population.
Relevance to clinical practice
The results of this study may be useful for nurses in the clinical field for calling an attention and raising an awareness of the reproductive health problems of women with psychiatric disorders, taking the necessary preventive measures, and developing damage-reducing strategies.