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BMJ Open. 2017 May 9;7(5):e013413. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013413.

Possible relationship between general and pregnancy-related anxiety during the first half of pregnancy and the birth process: a prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Department of Experimental Immunohematology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Leiden University Medical Center, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The rate of interventions during childbirth has increased dramatically during the last decades. Maternal anxiety might play a role in the progress of the labour process and interventions during labour. This study aimed to identify associations between anxiety in the first half of pregnancy and the birth process, including any interventions required during labour. In addition, differences in the associations by parity and ethnicity were explored.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Primary care midwifery practices and secondary/tertiary care obstetric practices in Amsterdam, participating in the multiethnic ABCD (Amsterdam Born Children and their Development) study (participation rate 96%; response 8266/12 373 (67%)).

PARTICIPANTS:

Included were women with singletons, alive at labour start, with a gestational age ≥24 weeks (n=6443).

INDEPENDENT VARIABLE:

General anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory state) and pregnancy-related anxiety (Pregnancy-Related Anxieties Questionnaire (PRAQ)) were self-reported in the first half of pregnancy.

OUTCOMES:

Associations between both forms of anxiety and several indicators of the birth process were analysed. Subgroup analyses were performed for parity and ethnicity.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of high general anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory score ≥43) and pregnancy-related anxiety (PRAQ score ≥P90) were 30.9% and 11.0%, respectively. After adjustment, in nulliparae, both general anxiety and pregnancy-related anxiety were associated with pain relief and/or sedation (OR for general anxiety 1.23; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.48; OR for pregnancy-related anxiety 1.45; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.85). In multiparae, general anxiety was associated with induction of labour (OR 1.53; 95% CI 1.16 to 2.03) and pregnancy-related anxiety was associated with primary caesarean section (OR 1.66; 95% CI 1.02 to 2.70). Associations were largely similar for all ethnicities.

CONCLUSIONS:

High levels of general and pregnancy-related anxiety in early pregnancy contribute modestly to more interventions during the birth process with similar associations between ethnic groups, but with some differences between nulliparae and multiparae.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Birth process; Ethnicity; Interventions; Parity

PMID:
28490549
PMCID:
PMC5623367
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013413
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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