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Intimate partner violence as a predictor of antenatal care services utilization in Rwanda
Authors: Claire Bahati, Josias Izabayo, Japhet Niyonsenga, Vincent Sezibera, Léon Mutesa
Source: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , DOI: 10.1186/s12884-021-04230-5
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Reproductive health
Country: Africa
Published: NOV 2021
Abstract: Background: Although compelling evidence shows that exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is detrimental to both physical and mental health of the victims and their fetuses, studies on negative impact of IPV on antenatal care (ANC) services utilization are scarce. Methods: The aim of the current study was to determine the impact of IPV exposure on ANC services utilization indicators such as (i) initiation of care within the first 3 months of pregnancy, (ii) receipt of at least four ANC visits and (iii) receipt of care from skilled providers among reproductive age women in Rwanda. This study used the data from the 2014-15 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the effects of physical and sexual IPV on the ANC services utilization indicators. Results: Among married women living with their partners with at least one child aged 5 years or under (N = 5116), 17% of them reported physical violence, 22.8% reported psychological violence and 9.2% reported sexual violence. We found that there was a significant negative relationship between physical IPV and both early ANC and sufficient ANC. Women who had experienced physical violence by their partners during the preceding 12 months were less likely to receive more than four ANC visits, (O.R = 0.61, CI = 0.417-0.908) and they were less likely to attend the first ANC visits within the first 3 months (O.R = 0.656, CI = 0.445-0.967). Conclusion: In this study, the prevalence of IPV still remains high and there is evidence that it does have significant impact on ANC. Therefore, the results provide support for continued efforts to reduce intimate partner violence, through the improvement of screening for IPV during ANC visits.