Abuse and humiliation in the delivery room : Prevalence and associated factors of obstetric violence in Ghana

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Background: Abuse and mistreatment of women during childbirth is a major barrier to facility-based delivery, putting women at risk of avoidable complications, trauma and negative health outcomes including death. We study the prevalence of obstetric violence (OV) and its associated factors in the Ashanti and Western Regions of Ghana.
Methodology: A facility-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in eight public health facilities from September to December 2021. Specifically, close-ended questionnaires were administered to 1,854 women, aged 15–45 who gave birth in the health facilities. The data collected include the sociodemographic attributes of women, their obstetric history and experiences of OV based on the seven typologies according to the categorization by Bowser and Hills.
Findings: We find that about two in every three women (65.3%) experience OV. The most common form of OV is non-confidential care (35.8%), followed by abandoned care (33.4%), non-dignified care (28.5%) and physical abuse (27.4%). Furthermore, 7.7% of women were detained in health facilities for their inability to pay their bills, 7.5% received non-consented care while 11.0% reported discriminated care. A test for associated factors of OV yielded few results. Single women (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2–2.2) and women who reported birth complications (OR 3.2, 95% CI 2.4–4.3) were more likely to experience OV compared with married women and women who had no birth complications. In addition, teenage mothers (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.5–4.5) were more likely to experience physical abuse compared to older mothers. Rural vs. urban location, employment status, gender of birth attendant, type of delivery, time of delivery, the ethnicity of the mothers and their social class were all not statistically significant.
Conclusion: The prevalence of OV in the Ashanti and Western Regions was high and only few variables were strongly associated with OV, suggesting that all women are at risk of abuse. Interventions should aim at promoting alternative birth strategies devoid of violence and changing the organizational culture of violence embedded in the obstetric care in Ghana.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
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obstetric violence, facility-based childbirth, abuse, women, Ghana
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ISO 690YALLEY, Abena Asefuaba, Dare ABIOYE, Seth Christopher Yaw APPIAH, Anke HOEFFLER, 2023. Abuse and humiliation in the delivery room : Prevalence and associated factors of obstetric violence in Ghana. In: Frontiers in Public Health. Frontiers. 2023, 11, 988961. eISSN 2296-2565. Available under: doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.988961
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@article{Yalley2023-02-13Abuse-66402,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.3389/fpubh.2023.988961},
  title={Abuse and humiliation in the delivery room : Prevalence and associated factors of obstetric violence in Ghana},
  volume={11},
  journal={Frontiers in Public Health},
  author={Yalley, Abena Asefuaba and Abioye, Dare and Appiah, Seth Christopher Yaw and Hoeffler, Anke},
  note={Article Number: 988961}
}
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Methodology: A facility-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in eight public health facilities from September to December 2021. Specifically, close-ended questionnaires were administered to 1,854 women, aged 15–45 who gave birth in the health facilities. The data collected include the sociodemographic attributes of women, their obstetric history and experiences of OV based on the seven typologies according to the categorization by Bowser and Hills.  
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