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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Panminerva Medica 2000 March;42(1):33-7
Socio-demographic factors and indications in second trimester voluntary abortion
Carriero C., Ceci O. R., Melilli G. A., Fanelli M. *, Nappi L., Di Gesù G., Ferreri R.
From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology II
*Department of Medical Statistics, Institute of Hygiene University of Bari, Italy
Background. According to Italian Law, second trimester termination of pregnancy is allowed for life threatening conditions or for severe psychological distress, linked or not to prenatal diagnosis of foetal abnormalities. Socio-demographic factors related to this condition have been analysed.
Methods. Clinical records of 330 patients admitted during the years 1988-1997 to the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, University of Bari, Italy, for voluntary second trimester abortion, were examined. Maternal psychiatric indications have been given in nearly all of the cases. In 123 cases the indications were secondary to the women suffering a psychiatric disorder due to foetal pathologies. In 205 cases - where poor social conditions were more frequent - the indication was given on the ground of a psychiatric disorder linked to the pregnancy itself.
Results. Significantly higher incidence of teenagers (23.3%) and singles (50%) in women who underwent a late abortion. Students were 16.4% in this group. In primary psychiatric indication singles prevail (74.4%) and students represent 23.6% while in secondary psychiatric indication the married were 84.7%, students only 4.8%. In primary psychiatric indication 32.5% of women aged nineteen or less, while in secondary psychiatric indication this percentage was 8%.
Conclusions. Among patients who have a late abortion, teen-agers, students and singles are prevalent, these patients have significantly more primary psychiatric indications, not linked to foetal abnormalities. The high percentage of teenagers with primary psychiatric indication could depend on inadequate information and social service. Reduction of mid-trimester terminations of pregnancy can be significantly achieved intervening in this group of young women. On the other hand, in secondary indications earlier diagnosis of foetal abnormalities must be encouraged (villocentesis instead of amniocentesis) and abortion discouraged when the foetal pathology is minor, treatable or unlikely to significantly impair the future quality of life.