HealthDay News — People with schizophrenia have an increased risk for an emergency department visit for interpersonal violence during the perinatal period, according to a study published online March 6 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.
Kelly Leslie, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study involving 1,802,645 pregnant people, 4,470 of whom had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, to compare the risk for an emergency department visit for interpersonal violence in pregnancy or within one year postpartum.
The researchers found that 3.1 and 0.4 percent of those with and without schizophrenia, respectively, had a perinatal emergency department visit for interpersonal violence, for a relative risk of 6.88 and an adjusted relative risk of 3.44. When calculated separately for the pregnancy period and the first year postpartum, results were similar (adjusted relative risks, 3.47 and 3.45, respectively). Pregnant people with schizophrenia were as likely as those without schizophrenia to be screened for interpersonal violence (74.3 versus 73.8 percent), and they were more likely to report it (10.2 versus 2.4 percent). Schizophrenia was associated with an increased risk for a perinatal emergency department visit for interpersonal violence among patients who did not self-report interpersonal violence (4.0 versus 0.4 percent).
“The majority of people, both with and without schizophrenia, are screened for interpersonal violence during pregnancy,” Leslie said in a statement. “This suggests there are many opportunities for health care providers to intervene and prevent harm to these patients and their children.”