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The relationship between prematurity and maternal mental health during the first postpartum year

Worrall, S, Silverio, SA and Fallon, VM (2022) The relationship between prematurity and maternal mental health during the first postpartum year. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 29 (3). pp. 511-518. ISSN 1355-1841

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnn.2022.10.002 (Published version)


Studies concerning the effect of a premature birth on maternal mental health suggest symptoms of depression and anxiety are more prevalent in mothers of premature infants compared to mothers of term infants. However, most studies investigating depressive symptoms only relate to a few months postpartum, whilst no anxiety measures used have been postpartum-specific. Additionally, symptoms of anxiety and depression in mothers of extremely premature infants (<28 weeks’ gestation) are relatively understudied. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between early gestational age and symptoms of anxiety and depression, with a secondary emphasis on mothers of extremely premature infants. 225 mothers of infants aged between birth and 12 months completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Postpartum Specific Anxiety Scale via an online questionnaire. Hierarchical regression models revealed that gestational age was associated with postpartum specific anxieties and was differentially associated with subscales of the PSAS. Furthermore, mothers of extremely premature infants experience specific subscales in the PSAS to a higher extent than mothers of term infants. There was no association between prematurity and depressive symptoms. These findings demonstrate the need for specific, targeted interventions for mothers of premature infants.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1110 Nursing; 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine; Nursing
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2022 11:51
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 09:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.jnn.2022.10.002
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18265
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