Exploration of Undocumented Antenatal Domestic Violence

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Kaye I. Bultemeier, PhD, MSN, APRN/BC
School of Nursing, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN
Amy Jelley, MSN, BS
Lincoln Memorial University, Knoxville, TN
Robin Wilson, EdD
Undergraduate nursing, School of Nursing, Lincoln Memorial University, Harriman, TN
Rebecca Raymond, MSN, BS
nursing, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN

Studies indicate that 22% of women in the US admit partner abuse during pregnancy.  An additional 6.5% indicate they have never informed their health care provider of the abuse.  Abuse is noted to increase with psychosocial stress. Whitley County Kentucky is noted for the fact that 26% of the residents live below the poverty level and unemployment rates are above 10%. Infant death rates are 11.4/1000 live births versus the state average of 7.8/1000. This study therefore will explore undocumented domestic violence against women during pregnancy among pregnant women in rural Kentucky.


 To explore the incidence and types of undocumented domestic violence in rural Kentucky in the United States. 


 Setting:  Corbin, Kentucky postnatal wards at the hospitals

Letter requesting permission to collect data at postnatal ward attached

This is a cohort study and replication of study completed Chazweka (2012).Letter of permission to use questionnaire is attached.

Data Collection:

The pilot study will be completed in 2013

  • The researcher or co researcher will visit the postnatal wards daily and ask staff to identify postnatal women who have delivered within the previous 48 hours and meet the criteria for the study.  The postnatal nurse will ask the patient if they are willing to talk to the research nurse.
  • If they agree the researcher will distribute to the potential participant the information sheet and an envelope which contains a blank questionnaire.
  • No identifying information will be on the questionnaires but only a subject number.
  • Participants are asked to complete the questionnaire, place it inside the envelope and deposit it in the locked box.   The locked box will be located in  the postnatal ward.
  • Consent is assumed by the participant completing the questionnaire and placing it in the locked box.

Inclusion criteria:

  1. Women who have delivered a live infant within the past two days and are patients on the postnatal ward
  2. Women who can read and comprehend English
  3. Women who delivered healthy infants

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Women who cannot read or speak English
  2. Women who are not postnatal within the past three days
  3. Women who are seriously ill or have a seriously ill infant
  4. Women who delivered a stillbirth

Data Collection Instrument

A self-administered questionnaire-copy attached

There are four parts to the questionnaire.

Part 1-Biographical data

Part 2-Women’s safety

      Psychological maltreatment of Women Inventory (PMWI)-short form-Tolman           1999.  Internal consistency Dominance/isolation .88, emotional/verbal .92. Evidence of construct, convergent and discriminant validity noted.  None copywrite material but request for online registration. Permission given by registering at site-completed


Part 3-Severity of Violence Against Women Scale


Data is entered in SPSS version 19

Descriptive Statistics are run on all variable

Initial results of the first 62 participants reveal >10% with undocumented domestic violence during their recent pregnancy.  The majority was psychological with threats of harm.


Preliminary results indicate violence is occurring during pregnancy that is primarily psychological in nature.  Further research is needed to determine if this is occurring worldwide or is an isolated finding.