Stability of violence reporting by mothers during the postpartum period
BACKGROUND: Screening is an important first step to reducing the effects of violence during the prenatal and postpartum periods. However, little is known about consistency of violence reporting during these periods. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this analysis was to investigate the reliability of maternal reports of violence during the postpartum period. METHOD: The study recruited mothers from a large hospital following live birth. Participants completed surveys within one week of giving birth and three months later. Physical and emotional abuse was measuring using four items. Victimization was categorized as occurring at any point during the lifetime and/or during pregnancy. Using Kappa's coefficient, we assessed the reliability of participant report at baseline and three-months. RESULTS: Eighty-one women were included in this analysis. Almost 21% (n=17) of women reported lifetime experience of abuse at baseline or follow-up. Of participants who reported lifetime abuse, only 41% (n=7) reported abuse at both baseline and follow-up. Among participants who reported lifetime abuse at only one data collection point, an equal number (29%,n=5) reported abuse at baseline or follow-up (kappa=0.51). Approximately 5% (n=4) of participants reported being slapped, kicked, or otherwise physically hurt during pregnancy. No participants reported being physically hurt during pregnancy at both data collection points. Among participants who reported being physically hurt during pregnancy at only one data collection point, more participants reported being physically hurt during pregnancy at baseline (75%,n=3) than at follow-up (25%,n=1,kappa=-0.02). CONCLUSION: Given the limited reliability of violence reporting, our findings suggest a need for multiple screenings following birth.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the maternal experience of violence during the prenatal period
Evaluate the reliability of maternal reports of violence during the postpartum period
Keyword(s): Violence, Maternal Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of a funded study examining violence in postpartum women. I currently study violence prevention in vulnerable populations as part of my doctoral program in Community & Behavioral Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.