Disrespect and abuse during childbirth in fourteen hospitals in nine cities of Peru

Reneé Montesinos-Segura, Diego Urrunaga-Pastor, Giuston Mendoza-Chuctaya, Alvaro Taype-Rondan, Luis M. Helguero-Santin, Franklin W. Martinez-Ninanqui, Dercy L. Centeno, Yanina Jiménez-Meza, Ruth C. Taminche-Canayo, Liz Paucar-Tito, Wilfredo Villamonte-Calanche

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32 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the prevalence of disrespect and abuse during childbirth and its associated factors in Peru. Methods: In an observational cross-sectional study, women were surveyed within 48 hours of live delivery at 14 hospitals located in nine Peruvian cities between April and July 2016. The survey was based on seven categories of disrespect and abuse proposed by Bowser and Hill. To evaluate factors associated with each category, prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using adjusted Poisson models with robust variances. Results: Among 1528 participants, 1488 (97.4%) had experienced at least one category of disrespect and abuse. Frequency of abandonment of care was increased with cesarean delivery (PR 1.27, 95% CI 1.03–1.57) but decreased in the jungle region (PR 0.27, 0.14–0.53). Discrimination was associated with the jungle region (PR 5.67, 2.32–13.88). Physical abuse was less frequent with cesarean than vaginal delivery (PR 0.23, 0.11–0.49). The prevalences of abandonment of care (PR 0.42, 0.29–0.60), non-consented care (PR 0.70, 0.57–0.85), discrimination (PR 0.40, 0.19–0.85), and non-confidential care (PR 0.71, 0.55–0.93) were decreased among women who had been referred. Conclusion: Nearly all participants reported having experienced at least one category of disrespect and abuse during childbirth care, which was associated with type of delivery, being referred, and geographic region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Disrespect
  • Human rights abuse
  • Obstetric delivery
  • Obstetric labor
  • Patient advocacy
  • Patient rights
  • Reproductive rights


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