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Database - Alliance francophone pour l'accouchement respecté (AFAR)

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Created on : 11 Feb 2004
Modified on : 02 Dec 2007

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Bibliographical entry (without author) :

The influence of gestational age on depressive reactions, stress and anxiety of pregnant women and their partners in relation to prenatal diagnosis. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology 2003;24(4):?.

Author(s) :

Kowalcek I, Huber G, Bieniakiewitz I, Lammers C, Brunk I, Gembruch U.

Year of publication :


URL(s) :

Résumé (français)  :

Abstract (English)  :

Prenatal diagnosis is usually performed in the early weeks of gestation in order to avoid medical and emotional maternal risks in the event of fetal malformation. This study examines emotions such as depression, stress and anxiety in pregnant women and their partners with regard to the week of gestation in which the prenatal diagnosis was made.
In total, 452 pregnant women (between 7 and 40 weeks’ gestation) and 274 partners participated in this study. The pregnant women were divided into four groups of 113 subjects each according to length of pregnancy (group 1 = 7–15 weeks’ gestation, group 2 = 16–18 weeks’ gestation, group 3 = 19–23 weeks’ gestation and group 4 = 24–40 weeks’ of gestation). Depression, stress and Spielberger state-trait anxiety levels were measured before the prenatal examination, and stress and state anxiety were assessed after prenatal examination. Statistical analysis was performed using analysis of variance (ANOVA).
After the prenatal examination, the mean values of state anxiety (p = 0.032) and stress (p = 0.030) showed statistically significant differences in the pregnant women. Their partners only showed statistically significant differences in the stress values (p = 0.048) after examination.
In conclusion, emotional stress related to the prenatal diagnosis seems to be largely independent of gestational age. Ultrasound scans give the parents-to-be a clearer image of their unborn child, as their perception of the fetus is transformed from that of an anonymous object into an individual.

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Keywords :

➡ depression, anxiety ; psychology ; screening ; maternal age

Author of this record :

Cécile Loup — 11 Feb 2004

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