Frequency, severity, and type of abuse in pregnancy
Domestic abuse is prevalent in the United States and is a health issue during pregnancy (Kearney, Haggerty, Munro, & Hawkins, 2003). Estimates of intimate partner violence range from 5-23% (Kearney et al., 2003). Pregnancy has been recognized as a pivotal time for identifying abused women, as it is a time of frequent visits to a health care provider. Identification of frequency, severity, and type of abuse during pregnancy will provide information for early screening of domestic abuse during prenatal visits. The purpose of this descriptive study is to examine the type, frequency, and severity of intimate partner abuse during pregnancy. The conceptual framework is Dorothea Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory. The population will be drawn from women seeking prenatal care in public health care clinics and offices identified as abused in the midwest. The anticipated sample is 30 women. After the women are in a private examination room, women will be asked to sign a consent form. The Abuse Assessment Screen (AAS), along with sociodemographic questions will be administered to screen for abuse. The AAS is a five-question tool that identifies women abused one year prior to, and during a pregnancy. The tool will be used to identify the frequency, type, and severity of abuse. Institutional consent will be obtained from clinics of health care providers. The significance of this study is that it will provide information about the type, frequency, and severity of abuse during pregnancy that will help practitioners to identify abuse early and intervene.