The impact of very premature birth on the psychological health of mothers

Davis, Leigh M., Edwards, Helen E., Mohay, Heather A., & Wollin, Judy (2003) The impact of very premature birth on the psychological health of mothers. Early Human Development, 73(1-2), pp. 61-70.

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Background: The birth of a very premature infant is a critical event in the life of a family and studies have shown that mothers of these infants are at greater risk of psychological distress than mothers of full-term infants. Study design: A total population study of mothers of preterm infants born at less than 32-week gestation at a tertiary referral hospital. Subjects and methods: Sixty-two mothers of very preterm infants (<32 weeks) participated in the present study which examines correlates of maternal depressive symptomatology at 1 month following very premature birth. Information was obtained from structured questionnaires completed by mothers at 1 month after infant admission to neonatal intensive care. Results: Forty percent of the mothers reported significant depressive symptoms on the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). Logistic regression analysis indicated that high maternal stress resulted in an increased likelihood of depressive symptoms (OR 1.15, CI 1.04–1.26, p<0.01). Higher levels of maternal education (p<0.05), and increased perception of support from nursing staff (OR 1.06, CI 0.88–1.00, p<0.05) resulted in decreased likelihood of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: The birth and subsequent hospitalisation of a very premature infant evokes considerable psychological distress in mothers. These results have implications for policy development in order to enhance family centred care in the neonatal intensive care.

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145 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 10343
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: Premature infant, Postpartum depression, NICU, Nursing support, Social support, Stress
DOI: 10.1016/S0378-3782(03)00073-2
ISSN: 0378-3782
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Elsevier
Deposited On: 23 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:00

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