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Early Hum Dev. 2002 Apr;67(1-2):87-100.

Maternal anxiety in late pregnancy: effect on fetal movements and fetal heart rate.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, Malmö, S-205 02 Malmö, Sweden. karin.sjostrom.malmo@telia.com

Abstract

AIM:

To determine whether maternal state and trait anxiety levels affect fetal movements or fetal heart rate (FHR) in the third trimester.

SUBJECTS:

Forty-one healthy pregnant nulliparous women not on medication and with a singleton pregnancy.

STUDY DESIGN:

Maternal anxiety was assessed using the Spielberger State- Trait Anxiety Inventory (Form Y) at 36 gestational weeks. The fetuses of the women were examined at 37-40 gestational weeks with ultrasound observation of fetal movements and cardiotocography (CTG). The results of the fetal examinations were compared between women with low and high anxiety scores (low scores being defined as scores below the median and high scores as scores equal to or above the median of the study population), and correlation analyses between anxiety scores and the outcome variables were performed.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The presence and duration (expressed as a percentage of the total examination time) of FHR patterns A, B, C, and D, the percentage duration of fetal movements in each FHR pattern, baseline FHR and FHR variability in each FHR pattern.

RESULTS:

The presence of FHR patterns A, B, C, and D, the duration of FHR patterns A, B, and C, FHR variability in FHR patterns A, B, and C, baseline FHR and the percentage duration of fetal movements in each FHR pattern did not differ between women with low and high state and trait anxiety scores. In fetuses with FHR pattern D, the duration of FHR pattern D increased with increasing maternal trait anxiety scores, (rho=0.88; p=0.008), and FHR variability in FHR pattern D increased with maternal state and trait anxiety scores (r=0.86, p=0.01; r=0.96, p=0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Maternal anxiety does not seem to affect fetal movements or baseline FHR in late pregnancy, but there is a possible association between maternal anxiety and the duration of FHR pattern D and FHR variability in FHR pattern D.

PMID:
11893440
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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