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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2006 Sep-Oct;128(1-2):29-33. Epub 2006 Mar 2.

Maternal anxiety about prenatal screening for group B streptococcus disease and impact of positive colonization results.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.



Universal screening for colonization by group B streptococcus (GBS) is the recommended strategy to reduce incidence of colonization in newborns and prevent neonatal GBS-related disease. This study was designed to assess maternal anxiety levels about prenatal screening and psychological impact of positive colonization test results.


A total of 71 women who screened positively for GBS colonization and 112 screen-negative women (controls) were recruited. Anxiety levels were measured by the Spielberger State Trait-anxiety Inventory just before the GBS screening test, 1-week after testing, and 1-week after delivery. After delivery of their infants, all participants were asked to respond with a Likert scale line about attitudes toward being tested for GBS colonization.


Women with GBS colonization reported significantly greater psychological distress on state-anxiety scores after the full report was received. The trait- and state-anxiety scores before GBS screen testing and after delivery did not differ between the groups. Both groups of women were strongly positive about being screened for GBS in the current pregnancy and in future pregnancies.


Women with GBS colonization did not have a sustained increase in anxiety; therefore, clinician concerns about causing maternal anxiety should not be an impediment to test for GBS.

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