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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

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PEREIRA, Joana; PIRES, Raquel  and  CANAVARRO, Maria Cristina. Elective Abortion: Psychological Adjustment on a Sample of Young Portuguese Women. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2013, vol.14, n.2, pp.329-338. ISSN 1645-0086.

The Portuguese abortion law allowing elective abortion is recent and the research on the subsequent depressive symptomatology and the quality of life (QoL) is scarce, namely regarding specific and vulnerable populations, such as young women. Furthermore, international findings are not consistent across studies; while some authors have found scarce or no negative effects on women’s mental health, others have found negatives psychological outcomes after abortion. Therefore, the current study aimed to assess depressive symptomatology and QoL two to four weeks after abortion using a sample of Portuguese young women (N = 128) and a comparative group of sexual active youths (N = 148) with no pregnancy history. The sample was recruited at 23 schools and 23 health services. Self-reporting measures were used to assess the demographic and medical data, depressive symptoms (Edinburgh Post-natal Depression Scale) and QoL (EUROHIS-QOL-8). Young women who engaged in elective abortion reported higher depressive symptoms and poorer QoL than youths with no pregnancy history while controlling for sociodemographic variables. Our findings support the need of implementing screening protocols to easily identify youths with higher depressive symptoms and lower QoL, providing them with multidisciplinary and specialized interventions.

Keywords : Elective abortion; psychological adjustment; quality of life; youths.

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