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Most of original studies indicated maternal violence experiences is associated with adverse obstetric outcomes, to date, but it is not clear that the association of maternal violence experiences and the risk of postpartum depression (PPD). We aimed to assess the association between maternal violence experiences and risk of developing PPD by performing a meta-analysis of cohort studies.
PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane Libraries and Chinese databases were searched through December 2017 to identify studies that assessed the association between violence and PPD. Meta-analysis was conducted by the RevMan software and Stata software. Potential heterogeneity source was explored by subgroup analysis and potential publication bias was assessed by Begg's funnel plots and Egger’s linear regression test.
Overall, women experiencing any violence events compared with the reference group were at a higher risk of developing PPD (odds ratio [OR] = 2.04; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.72–2.41). Additionally, different types of violence events such as sexual (OR = 1.56; 95%CI: 1.35–1.81), emotional (OR = 1.75; 95%CI: 1.61–1.89), and physical violence (OR = 1.90; 95%CI: 1.36–2.67), as well as domestic (OR = 2.05; 95%CI: 1.50–2.80) or childhood violence (OR = 1.59; 95%CI: 1.34–1.88) also increased the risk of developing PPD. Relevant heterogeneity moderators have been identified by subgroup analysis. Sensitivity analysis yielded consistent results.
Maternal violence experiences are significantly associated with risk of developing PPD. These finding highlight the necessary to protect women from any types of violence and formulate preventive strategies to promote the maternal mental health.
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