Does resilience moderate the effect of intimate partner violence on signs of depression among Tanzanian pregnant women: A cross‐sectional study

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Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) has been found to be associated with a multitude of poor health and quality of life outcomes. Among the risks exacerbated by IPV is prenatal depression. Resilience is hypothesized to protect against psychopathology after exposure to a traumatic influence. The present study aims to investigate resilience as a moderator of the effect of exposure to IPV on prenatal depression among pregnant women in Moshi, Tanzania.

Material and methods
In this cross‐sectional study, nested within a larger longitudinal study, pregnant women receiving antenatal care were interviewed about exposure to IPV, signs of depression using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, and resilience using the abbreviated Connor‐Davidson Resilience Scale. Logistic regression was used to test the effect of the interaction term of resilience and exposure to IPV during pregnancy on the risk of high level of signs of depression.

In total, 1013 women completed all interviews, 300 women reported exposure to IPV, and 113 had high levels of signs of depression. Mean resilience score was 14.26 (SD 9.45). Exposure to IPV was correlated with signs of depression (adjusted odds ratio 6.49, 95% CI 3.75‐11.24). Resilience was not correlated with signs of depression, nor was the interaction term of resilience and exposure to IPV.

The study did not find that resilience acted as a moderator of the effect of exposure to IPV during pregnancy on the risk of prenatal depression. The cross‐sectional design of the study may not be well suited to investigate resilience, which could take time to manifest. The abbreviated Connor‐Davidson Resilience Scale has not been validated in a Tanzanian setting, or in the Swahili version. Practitioners should take note that all women and families affected by IPV should be afforded relevant assistance from social services, law enforcement, healthcare practitioners, and other relevant services, regardless of their apparent level of resilience.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Obstetrica et Gynecologica
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)768-774
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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