A prospective longitudinal study of the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from childbirth events

Alcorn, K. L. and O'Donovan, A. and Patrick, J. C. and Creedy, D. and Devilly, G. J. (2010) A prospective longitudinal study of the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from childbirth events. Psychological Medicine , 40 (11). pp. 1849-1859. ISSN 0033-2917

[img]
Preview
Text (Published Version)
Alcorn_etal_PM_v40n11_PV.pdf

Download (92Kb) | Preview

Abstract

Background: Childbirth has been linked to postpartum impairment. However, controversy exists regarding the onset and prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth, with seminal studies being limited by methodological issues. This longitudinal prospective study examined the prevalence of PTSD following childbirth in a large sample while controlling for pre-existing PTSD and affective symptomatology.
Method: Pregnant women in their third trimester were recruited over a 12-month period and interviewed to identify PTSD and anxiety and depressive symptoms during the last trimester of pregnancy, 4–6 weeks postpartum, 12 weeks postpartum and 24 weeks postpartum.
Results: Of the 1067 women approached, 933 were recruited into the study. In total, 866 (93%) were retained to 4–6 weeks, 826 (89%) were retained to 12 weeks and 776 (83%) were retained to 24 weeks. Results indicated that, uncontrolled, 3.6% of women met PTSD criteria at 4–6 weeks postpartum, 6.3% at 12 weeks postpartum and 5.8% at 24 weeks postpartum. When controlling for PTSD and partial PTSD due to previous traumatic events as well as clinically significant anxiety and depression during pregnancy, PTSD rates were less at 1.2% at 4–6 weeks, 3.1% at 12 weeks and 3.1% at 24 weeks postpartum.
Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate the occurrence of full criteria PTSD resulting from childbirth after controlling for pre-existing PTSD and partial PTSD and clinically significant depression and anxiety in pregnancy. The findings indicate that PTSD can result from a traumatic birth experience, though this is not the normative response.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 20535
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2010 Cambridge University Press. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2014 05:50
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2015 06:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: childbirth; prevalence; postnatal; trauma; depression
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170105 Gender Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111499 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1017/S0033291709992224
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20535

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only