One hundred and fifty women who had abortions in Belarus (former Soviet republic) were interviewed regarding reproductive history, decision-making and psychological outcomes. Positive and negative responses (including PTSD, guilt, grief, depression, anxiety/panic and emotional numbness) were assessed during the interview with the Impact of Events-R Scale to objectively measure aspects of PTSD. It was hypothesized that a portion of the sample would evidence PTSD with recognition of life, attachment, time, number of weeks of pregnancy, coercion, supported decision-making, wantedness, and age all predictive of negative responses. Forty-six percent of the sample suffered PTSD the best predictors being recognition of the life of the fetus, attachment, time since the abortion, and number of weeks of pregnancy.
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Natalia Mufel, Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., and Sergei Sivuha, Ph.D.
Natalia Mufel is psychologist for Women's Wellness Center, Minsk, Belarus and a doctoral candidate in Belarusian State University. Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Professor of Research, Vesalius College, Free University of Brussels, and Psychological Consultant of Advances in Health. She currently resides at 3 Avenue des Fleurs, 1150 Brusssels, Belgium. Please direct correspondence about this paper to her at Aspeckhard@brutele.be or Speckhardl@aol.com. Sergei Sivuha is Head of the Psychology Department at European Humanities University, Minsk Belarus. He served as the statistician for this project.
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.