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Midwifery. 2015 Sep;31(9):888-96. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2015.04.017. Epub 2015 May 4.

Predictors of anxiety among pregnant New Zealand women hospitalised for complications and a community comparison group.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand. Electronic address: ccbarber@waikato.ac.nz.
2
School of Psychology, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

to investigate predictors of anxiety for women experiencing hospitalisation during pregnancy and a comparison group of pregnant women (with or without medical complications) in the community.

DESIGN:

correlational, cross-sectional observational questionnaire study.

SETTING:

regional antenatal inpatient unit and community-based settings in New Zealand in 2009 and 2010.

PARTICIPANTS:

118 pregnant women in hospital and 114 pregnant women in community.

MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS:

women in hospital and community groups completed a battery of questionnaires on pregnancy and health history, life events, anxiety, optimism, coping, and relationship factors. Midwives caring for the women provided ratings of health status and psychological distress. Both groups of women had scores on state anxiety significantly above local norms; women in the hospital were significantly higher than those in the community on state anxiety and worry about their pregnancy. The groups did not differ on factors such as life events, optimism, and coping self-efficacy. Ratings of health and distress made by women and their midwives showed poor agreement. Predictors of acute anxiety differed across the groups: for hospitalised women, anxiety was predicted by their rating of their health and their dispositional optimism; for women in the community, anxiety was predicted by stressful life events, dispositional optimism, and coping self-efficacy.

KEY CONCLUSIONS:

many women hospitalised during pregnancy are extremely anxious, and those most vulnerable are those who are less optimistic and see their health as poor. Health care professionals may not be aware of how anxious women are, and women and their hospital caregivers had poor agreement on ratings of the woman׳s health status.

IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH AND PRACTICE:

women hospitalised during pregnancy are at risk for high levels of anxiety. Midwives are well placed to help women by recognising their distress, supporting informed optimism, and guiding women toward realistic coping strategies and using existing social support networks. Research is needed on strategies for implementation and effectiveness of brief interventions to support women to manage anxiety and stress during pregnancy both in hospital and in the community.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Distress; Medical complications; Mental health; Optimism

PMID:
25987104
DOI:
10.1016/j.midw.2015.04.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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