Intimate partner violence and perinatal health: a systematic review

  • Pastor-Moreno G
  • Ruiz-Pérez I
  • Henares-Montiel J
  • Escribà-Agüir V
  • Higueras-Callejón C
  • Ricci-Cabello I
Background Physical, psychological, and sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) has been described in the literature as different types of IPV experienced by women during pregnancy all over the world. Objectives To review and summarise systematically the empirical evidence on the links between IPV during pregnancy and the perinatal health of mothers and fetuses/neonates. Search strategy MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL, Embase, Nursing@ovid (Ovid), and LILACS were performed (2008-2018). Selection criteria Observational studies that examined perinatal health outcomes (i.e. pre-term birth, low birthweight, miscarriage, perinatal death, and premature rupture of membranes) in pregnant women exposed to IPV. Data collection and analysis Information on study characteristics, type of IPV measured, study design, methodological quality, and outcome variable extracted. Results Fifty studies were included. Twenty-nine analysed undifferentiated IPV (n = 25 489), 34 included physical IPV (n = 7333), 22 analysed psychological IPV (n = 7833), and 18 examined sexual IPV (n = 2388). Fifteen studies were from Asia, 12 from North America and Oceania, and 12 from Central and South America. The studies examined the association between IPV and 39 different perinatal health outcomes. The most frequent outcomes reported were pre-term birth (50%), low birthweight (46%), miscarriage (30%), perinatal death (20%), and premature rupture of membranes (20%). A significant association with perinatal health outcomes was reported by 12 of the studies analysing undifferentiated IPV, 18 physical IPV, six psychological IPV, and two sexual IPV. Conclusions The relation between IPV and perinatal health outcomes can be seen in different epidemiological designs and countries. In all, 39 different outcomes were identified and 29 were associated with IPV. Tweetable abstract A variety of poor perinatal health outcomes are associated with psychological, physical, and sexual IPV.