Document Type

Article

Department

School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan; Psychiatry

Abstract

Background: Screening for changes in pregnancy-related anxiety and depressive symptoms during pregnancy may further our understanding of the relationship between these two variables and preterm birth.
Objectives: To determine whether changes in pregnancy-related anxiety and depressive symptoms during pregnancy influence the risk of preterm birth among Pakistani women; explore whether perceived stress moderates or mediates this relationship, and examine the relationship between the various components of pregnancy-related anxiety and preterm birth.
Methods: A prospective cohort study design was used to recruit a diverse sample of 300 low-risk pregnant women from four centers of Aga Khan Hospital for Women and Children in Karachi, Pakistan. Changes in pregnancy-related anxiety and depressive symptoms during pregnancy were tested. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine a predictive model for preterm birth. We then determined if the influence of perceived stress could moderate or mediate the effect of depressive symptoms on preterm birth.
Results: Changes in pregnancy-related anxiety (OR = 1.1, CI 0.97-1.17, p = 0.167) and depressive symptoms (OR = 0.9, CI 0.85-1.03, p = 0.179) were insignificant as predictors of preterm birth after adjusting for the effects of maternal education and family type. When perceived stress was added into the model, we found that changes in depressive symptoms became marginally significant after adjusting for covariates (OR = 0.9, CI 0.82-1.01, p = 0.082). After adjusting for the mediation effect of change in perceived stress, the effect of change in depressive symptoms on preterm birth were marginally significant after adjusting for covariates. Among six different dimensions of pregnancy-related anxiety, mother's concerns about fetal health showed a trend towards being predictive of preterm birth (OR = 1.3, CI 0.97-1.72, p = 0.078).
Conclusions: There may be a relationship between perceived stress and antenatal depressive symptoms and preterm birth. This is the first study of its kind to be conducted in Pakistan. Further research is required to validate these results.

Comments

Pagination are not provided by the author/publisher

Publication

PLoS One

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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