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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and the association with symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress in a multi-ethnic pregnant population in southern Sweden

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  • Anne Marie Wangel
  • Elsa Lena Ryding
  • Berit Schei
  • Margareta Östman
  • BIDENS STUDY GROUP (Ann Tabor, members)
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Objectives: This study aims to describe the prevalence of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and analyze associations with symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress (PTS) in pregnancy, by ethnic background. Study design: This is a cross-sectional study of the Swedish data from the Bidens cohort study. Ethnicity was categorized as native and non-native Swedish-speakers. Women completed a questionnaire while attending routine antenatal care. The NorVold Abuse Questionnaire (NorAQ) assessed a history of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. The Edinburgh Depression Scale-5 measured symptoms of depression. Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) included intrusion, avoidance and numbness. Results: Of 1003 women, 78.6% were native and 21.4% were non-native Swedish-speakers. Native and non-native Swedish-speakers experienced a similar proportion of lifetime abuse. Moderate emotional and physical abuse in childhood was significantly more common among non-native Swedish-speakers. Sexual abuse in adulthood was significantly more prevalent among native Swedish-speakers. Emotional and sexual abuse were significantly associated with symptoms of depression for both natives and non-natives. Physical abuse was significantly associated with symptoms of depression for non-natives only. All types of abuse were significantly associated with symptoms of PTS for both native and non-native Swedish-speakers. Adding ethnicity to the multiple binary regression analyses did not really alter the association between the different types of abuse and symptoms of depression and PTS. Conclusion: The prevalence of lifetime abuse did not differ significantly for native and non-native Swedish-speakers but there were significant differences on a more detailed level. Abuse was associated with symptoms of depression and PTS. Being a non-native Swedish-speaker did not influence the association much.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSexual and Reproductive Healthcare
Volume9
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
ISSN1877-5756
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

    Research areas

  • Depression, Emotional abuse, Ethnicity, Physical abuse, Posttraumatic stress, Sexual abuse

ID: 54914325