The researchers found that psychological abuse verbal and emotional abuse was associated with stress and PTSD. Physical abuse was associated with depression, OCD and PTSD. Sexual abuse was associated with stress, depression and PTSD.
This means that some mental health problems could stem from any of the forms of abuse. For example, PTSD is associated with all three forms of abuse, but could be caused by any one of them; psychological abuse alone could lead to PTSD.
"This highlights the need for increased awareness of the prevalence of these issues, and the need for increased screening for abuse and mental health problems for pregnant women and new mothers," Desmarais says.
"The sheer scope of the mental health problems and types of abuse that we found tells us that we need to take a broader approach to tackling these issues," Desmarais adds. "And this is clearly not a 'lower class' problem medical professionals everywhere need to pay attention.
"But to do this effectively, we need to train doctors, nurses, and hospital staff in how to identify and respond to potential problems in this area."
|Contact: Matt Shipman|
North Carolina State University