Hong Kong Journal of Gynaecology Obstetrics and Midwifery

Volume 2 Number 2, 2001

Should We Routinely Screen Pregnant Women for Domestic Violence in Hong Kong?

WC LEUNG1 MRCOG, FHKAM (O&G) Senior Medical Officer
TW LEUNG1 MRCOG Medical Officer
PC HO1 MD, FRCOG, FHKAM (O&G) Professor & Head
1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong
2 Department of Nursing Studies, The University of Hong Kong

Domestic violence is well recognized as an important health problem. We have shown in a local study using the Abuse Assessment Screen that 17.9% of our antenatal patients had a history of abuse. The nature of the abuse was mainly in the form of threats of abuse. The pregnancy out-come in the abused women did not differ significantly from that of the non-abused women. However, the abused women had significantly higher scores than non-abused women when assessed in the postpartum period with the Stein s Daily Scoring System which measures puerperal blues and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. There is as yet no randomized trial confirming the benefit of intervention strategies in the management of the abused women. The cost-effectiveness of screening programme is also uncertain. Therefore, while more studies on this are warranted, it is premature now to introduce a screening programme for domestic violence in our pregnant population. (HKJGOM 2001; 2: 96-100)

Keywords : domestic violence, pregnancy, routine screening, Chinese, Hong Kong

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