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Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and use of antenatal care among rural women in southern Terai of Nepal

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Jitendra Kumar Singh, Sara Evans-Lacko, Dilaram Acharya, Rajendra Kadel, Salila Gautam

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number2
Early online date15 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

King's Authors


Background Underutilisation of antenatal care services due to intimate partner violence during pregnancy has been well documented elsewhere, but it is understudied in Nepal. Our study aimed at exploring the impact of intimate partner violence on antenatal care service utilisation in southern Terai of Nepal. Method A community-based cross-sectional study was performed in 6 village development committees in Dhanusha district, Nepal. A total of 426 pregnant women in their second trimester were selected using a multistage cluster sampling method. Multivariable regression analyses were used to examine the association between exposure to intimate partner violence and selected antenatal care services, adjusting for covariates. Results Among 426 pregnant women, almost three out of ten women (28.9%) were exposed to intimate partner violence at some point during their pregnancy. Pregnant women who were exposed to intimate partner violence were less likely to: register for antenatal care (OR 0.31; 95% CI (0.08–0.50)), take iron and folic acid (OR 0.55; 95% CI (0.12–0.90)), report dietary diversity (middle vs low: OR 0.34; 95% CI (0.11–0.58) and high vs low: OR 0.18; 95% CI (0.08–0.37)), have rest and sleep during day time (OR 0.47; 95% CI (0.61–0.58)), and attend mother’s group meetings (OR 0.29; 95% CI (0.10–0.83)). Conclusions Intimate partner violence during pregnancy is associated with low utilisation of antenatal care services. Therefore, effective strategies to prevent or reduce intimate partner violence during pregnancy is needed, which may lead to improved antenatal care service utilization in Nepal with healthier mothers and children’s outcome.

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