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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Jan;24(1):28-32.

Psychological health in early pregnancy: relationship with nausea and vomiting.

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Department of Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK.


The psychological health of women in early pregnancy was investigated in a sample of 273 women (mean gestational age 12.8 weeks, SD=2.8) using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and mood and illness perception visual analogue scales, and compared with the prevalence and severity of nausea and vomiting as measured using the Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy Instrument (NVPI). Using a cut-off of 4/5 for the GHQ, 50.5% of pregnant women were found to have potential psychiatric problems. However, perceived mental health and physical illness was significantly better than anticipated. The severity of nausea and vomiting correlated independently with GHQ subscales for somatic symptoms, social dysfunction, anxiety/insomnia and severe depression. The contradiction between high GHQ scored and high perceived wellbeing might be explained through cognitive processing. Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy is associated with psychiatric morbidity. The causal relationship between the two conditions has not been established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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