Intimate partner violence among pregnant teenagers in Lira district, northern Uganda: a cross-sectional study
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Original versionAfrican Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. 2020, 14 (4). https://doi.org/10.12968/ajmw.2020.0011
Background/aims: Intimate partner violence during pregnancy is associated with adverse health outcomes for mothers and their unborn babies. Whereas the literature on intimate partner violence in the general population is extensive, little is known about this type of violence among pregnant teenagers, especially in resource-limited settings. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with intimate partner violence among pregnant teenagers attending antenatal care clinics in Lira District, northern Uganda. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 310 pregnant teenagers attending antenatal care clinics at the Lira Regional Referral Hospital and Ogur Health Center IV. Eligible teenagers were recruited consecutively until the required sample size was accrued. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Intimate partner violence was determined using the Revised Conflict Tactile Scale 2. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with violence during pregnancy, while considering potential confounding factors. Results: The overall prevalence of intimate partner violence among pregnant teenagers was 40.6%. The prevalence of psychological violence was 37.1%, sexual assault was 29%, and physical violence was 24.8%. Partner alcohol intake (odds ratio=5.00, P=0.000); polygamy (odds ratio=2.80, P=0.001) and the inability of the teenage mother to make major decisions in the home (odds ratio=2.42, P=0.006) were independently associated with intimate partner violence during pregnancy. Conclusions: Approximately 4 in 10 pregnant teenagers in Lira district, northern Uganda experienced intimate partner violence. This is higher than has been reported in the general population of pregnant women in Uganda. Intimate partner violence screening and counselling should be part of the routine antenatal care package.