Safety behaviors of abused women after an intervention during pregnancy.

J. McFarlane, B. Parker, K. Soeken, C. Silva, S. Reel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate an intervention protocol, administered during pregnancy, for increasing safety-seeking behaviors of abused women. DESIGN: Prospective, ethnically stratified cohort analysis. SETTING: Public prenatal clinics. PARTICIPANTS: Pregnant women reporting physical or sexual abuse in the year before or during the present pregnancy. One hundred thirty-two women met study criteria, received the intervention, and were followed for 1 year after the completion of the pregnancy. INTERVENTION: Three education, advocacy, and community referral sessions that included information on safety behaviors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Adoption of safety behaviors by abused women. Safety behaviors were measured before the intervention, twice during pregnancy, and at 2, 6, and 12 months after completion of the pregnancy. RESULTS: Repeated measures analysis of variance showed a significant increase in adoption of each safety behavior (p < .0001), with most behaviors showing a significant increase after the first intervention session. CONCLUSIONS: Pregnant women who were abused and were offered an intervention protocol report a significant increase in safety behavior adoption during and after pregnancy. Abuse during pregnancy is common. Identification of abuse and immediate clinical intervention that includes information about safety behaviors can result in safety behavior adoption that may prevent future abuse and increase the safety and well-being of women and infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN / NAACOG
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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