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Pregnancy outcomes in women with severe fear of childbirth

O'Connell, Maeve A., Leahy-Warren, Patricia, Kenny, Louise C. and Khashan, Ali S. 2019. Pregnancy outcomes in women with severe fear of childbirth. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 120 , pp. 105-109. 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2019.03.013

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Objective To compare pregnancy outcomes for women with and without severe fear of childbirth (FOC) reported in the second trimester of pregnancy. Methods In a prospective cohort study, 389 singleton pregnancies were followed up using medical records of participants in a study investigating FOC in Cork, Republic of Ireland. FOC was measured using the Wijma Delivery Experience Questionnaire Part A (W-DEQ A). Severe FOC was defined as W-DEQ A ≥ 85, moderate FOC, W-DEQ-A 66-84 and low FOC, W-DEQ A 0-65. Outcome measures were birthweight, birthweight centile, gestational age, and Apgar scores at 1 min and Apgar at 5 min. Linear regression was used to assess the association between FOC and each outcome measure with adjustment for maternal age, smoking, parity and marital status. Results There was no statistically significant difference in mean birthweight (mean difference = −0.03; [95% CI: -444.69, 315.82]), mean birthweight centile (mean difference = 0.03; [95%CI: -15.97, 23.53]), or mean gestational age (mean difference = −0.06; [95%CI: -11.69, 4.82]) in women with severe FOC (n = 18) compared with women with low FOC (n = 371). In the adjusted models, there was only a slight correlation between severe FOC and Apgar scores at 1 min (mean difference = −0.09 [95%CI: -1.28, 0.32]) and Apgar scores at 5 min (mean difference = −0.18 [95%CI: -1.16, 1.08]). Conclusion While a slight association was noted between severe FOC and Apgar scores, overall findings are reassuring and could inform educational interventions which may alleviate FOC. Awareness of FOC for health care professionals is vital to consider women's mental well-being.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0022-3999
Date of Acceptance: 10 March 2019
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 16:45

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