Violence and women's psychological distress after birth: An exploratory study in italy

Patrizia Romito, Janet Molzan Turan, Torsten Neilands, Chiara Lucchetta, Laura Pomicino, Federica Scrimin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our aim in conducting this study was to analyze the relationships between violence and maternal psychological distress 8 months after a birth, taking into account other important psychosocial factors, known to be associated both with violence and with new mothers' mental health. A total of 352 women responded to a questionnaire after the birth at a maternity hospital in northern Italy, and 292 also participated in a telephone interview 8 months later. We evaluated psychological distress with the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and partner and family violence with a 28-item scale. Eight months postpartum, 5% of women showed high psychological distress; 10% were currently experiencing violence from the partner or another family member. After adjustment for covariates, the odds ratio for depressive symptoms was 13.74 for women experiencing violence. We believe that these results provide support for the important role of violence in postpartum maternal psychological distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-180
Number of pages21
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)


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