Violence, fear of childbirth and mode of delivery


Main objectives: 

 To asses violence related factors that may influence pregnant women's fear of childbirth and how this affects the mode of delivery

Specific objectives:

What is the prevalence of fear of labour in the different partaking countries in Europe?
Are there differences between the countries in relation to the women wishing to give birth by Caesarean section? Can this be related  to fear of labour?
Are socio-economic factors related to fear of labour? Can these factors explain differences in the prevalence of fear of labour?
Which life-events are related to fear of labour?
Is physical, sexual, or emotional abuse related to fear of labour?
Which women are referred, or seek help themselves, for their fear of labour?
Does previous abuse influence women's desire to give birth by caersarean section?
Does previous abuse affect the mode of delivery and complications during birth?
Does previous abuse whithin the health care system have effect on the experience of fear of labour?
Is there a relationship between fear of labour and mode of delivery, especially operative delivery?


The study is designed as a longitudinal cohort study using questionnaires. It will be conducted as a multi-country (Belgium, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Norway, Sweden) study of women who attend antenatal care in the participating countries.


On April 14th 2008 a seminar on fear of childbirth and violence was organised in Tallinn, Estonia.


National and international publications on the reserach-results.

Funding agencies

European Commission


Ms. An-Sofie Van Parys, Dr. Kristien Roelens, Prof. Dr. Marleen Temmerman, Dr. Thora Steingrimsdottir, Ms. Hildur Kristjansdottir, Prof. Dr. Ann Tabor, Ms. Anne-Mette Schroll, Prof. Dr. Helle Karro, Ms. Marge Mahla, Prof. Dr. Berit Schei, Ms. Mirjam Lukasse, Prof. Dr. Elsa Lena Ryding, Ms. Anne-Marie Wangel


January 01, 2008 - December 31, 2010

Project status

Project closed

Team members

Ms. Marleen Temmerman
Ms. An-Sofie Van Parys




Mother and child health