Birth-Related PTSD Symptoms and Related Factors Following Preterm Childbirth in Turkey

Thomson, Gillian orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3392-8182, Isbir, Gökçe, İnci, Figen, Kömürcü Akik, Burcu and Abreu, Wilson (2022) Birth-Related PTSD Symptoms and Related Factors Following Preterm Childbirth in Turkey. Current Psychology .

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Objective: To examine factors associated with birth-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among women who had preterm birth in their last pregnancy in Turkey.
Methods: 304 women were asked to report sociodemographic factors, perinatal factors, birth-related factors, preterm birth/premature infant characteristics, and social support factors and PTSD symptoms. Data were collected using online surveys between November 2020 and February 2021. Hierarchical multiple linear regression was used.
Results: The prevalence of birth-related PTSD symptoms following preterm birth was 71.1%. Older age, the woman being positively affected by her own mother's birth experience, not having traumatic experience in pregnancy and in the postnatal period, lower stress level after traumatic events experienced during birth, not feeling that their life/physical integrity was at risk during birth, having amniotomy, feeling psychologically well after childbirth, not being negatively affected by witnessing other parents’ happy moments with their babies in friend/family groups, the absence of infant illness and mother’s reporting higher positive interactions with healthcare team were associated with decreased likelihood of birth-related PTSD. Except for age and traumatic event in the postnatal period, all the variables explained 43% of the variance with a small effect size (f2 = 0.04). Stress level after the traumatic events experienced during labor was the strongest predictor of birth-related PTSD symptoms (β = .33).
Conclusion: Wellbeing of mother and baby, facilitating interventions at labor, and positive communication with the healthcare team was associated with lower birth-related PTSD. The study findings lighted addressing birth-related PTSD symptoms in mothers of preterm infants in Turkey.

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