Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The prevalence of posttraumatic stress among women requesting induced abortion
Sophiahemmet University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3755-4504
Show others and affiliations
2013 (English)In: European journal of contraception & reproductive health care, ISSN 1362-5187, E-ISSN 1473-0782, Vol. 18, no 6, 480-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives To describe the prevalence and pattern of traumatic experiences, to assess the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), to identify risk factors for PTSD and PTSS, and to analyse the association of PTSD and PTSS with concomitant anxiety and depressive symptoms in women requesting induced abortion. Methods A Swedish multi-centre study of women requesting an induced abortion. The Screen Questionnaire - Posttraumatic Stress Disorder was used for research diagnoses of PTSD and PTSS. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were evaluated by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Results Of the 1514 respondents, almost half reported traumatic experiences. Lifetime- and point prevalence of PTSD were 7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.8-8.5) and 4% (95% CI: 3.1-5.2), respectively. The prevalence of PTSS was 23% (95% CI: 21.1-25.4). Women who reported symptoms of anxiety or depression when requesting abortion were more likely to have ongoing PTSD or PTSS. Also single-living women and smokers displayed higher rates of ongoing PTSD. Conclusions Although PTSD is rare among women who request an induced abortion, a relatively high proportion suffers from PTSS. Abortion seeking women with trauma experiences and existing or preexisting mental disorders need more consideration and alertness when counselled for termination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 18, no 6, 480-8 p.
Keyword [en]
Abortion, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Posttraumatic stress, Depression, Anxiety
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Nursing
URN: urn:nbn:se:shh:diva-1413DOI: 10.3109/13625187.2013.828030PubMedID: 23978220OAI: diva2:646511
Available from: 2013-09-09 Created: 2013-09-09 Last updated: 2014-11-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Induced Abortions and Posttraumatic Stress - Is there any relation?: A Swedish multi-centre study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Induced Abortions and Posttraumatic Stress - Is there any relation?: A Swedish multi-centre study
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Induced abortion is a common medical intervention. Whether psychological sequelae might follow induced abortion has long been a subject of concern among researchers, and there is lack of knowledge about the relationship between posttraumatic disorder (PTSD) and induced abortion. Aims: To study and compare PTSD, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and anxiety- and depressive symptoms among women seeking abortion, allowing for demographic variables. Further aims were to assess risk factors and to assess PTSD and PTSS following induced abortion in relation to experienced care at the clinic. Methods: This was a multi-centre cohort study targeting women who requested an induced abortion at the outpatient clinics of the gynaecology and obstetrics departments of six public hospitals in Sweden. All women who requested an induced abortion before the end of gestational week 12 were approached for participation. PTSD, PTSS, anxiety- and depressive symptoms, personality traits and women’s perceptions of abortion care were measured by means of questionnaires. Measurements were made at the first visit before the abortion as well as three- and six-months thereafter. Data collection was performed from September 2009 to January 2011. Results: 1,514 women filled out the questionnaire before the abortion. Abortion-seeking women did not suffer from PTSD to a greater extent than the general Swedish female population. Few women (51/720) developed PTSD or PTSS after the abortion, 11 did so due to trauma experience related to the abortion. Women at risk of posttraumatic stress were more likely to be young, having anxiety- or depressive symptoms and personality traits related to neuroticism. Furthermore, women with PTSD or PTSS were more likely to perceive certain aspects of the abortion care as deficient. Conclusions: The vast majority of women coped well with the induced abortion. Few developed posttraumatic stress post abortion. The majority did so because of trauma experiences unrelated to the induced abortion. Young women and women with mental distress are vulnerable groups that need to be paid attention to in abortion care. These women are at risk for negative experiences of the abortion care, and may be at risk of PTSD or PTSS post abortion

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 73 p.
, Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1022
Abortion induced, Stress disorders posttraumatic, Anxiety, Depression, Mental health, Personality traits, Ambulatory care facilities
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
urn:nbn:se:shh:diva-1692 (URN)978-91-554-9014-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-10, Eva Netzelius-salen, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers allé 1A, Uppsala, 09:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-09-23 Created: 2014-09-23 Last updated: 2016-06-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Wallin Lundell 140311(177 kB)124 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 177 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Wallin Lundell, IngerGeorgsson Öhman, Susanne
By organisation
Sophiahemmet University
In the same journal
European journal of contraception & reproductive health care
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive MedicineNursing

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 124 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 106 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link