Relation Between Pregnancy Psychological Status and Prenatal Depression: A Path Analysis

Talebi, Erfaneh, Mohaddesi, Hamideh, Rasouli, Javad and Kaviani, Shaghayegh (2024) Relation Between Pregnancy Psychological Status and Prenatal Depression: A Path Analysis. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth . (Submitted)

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Pregnancy is the most stressful period of a woman’s life, during which conditions such as neuroticism, depression, and anxiety are highly prevalent. Considering the literature emphasizing the adverse effects of prenatal depression on the mother and foetus, even in later periods such as childhood and adulthood, the present study aims to identify factors related to prenatal depression among women.

This cross-sectional (descriptive and analytical) study was conducted on 130 pregnant women referring to health centres in Urmia in 2021. The participants were selected using the multi-stage random sampling method. The instruments included a Demographic-Pregnancy Questionnaire, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Pregnancy Experience Scale (PES), Positive Feeling Questionnaire (PFQ), and Prenatal Distress Questionnaire (PDQ).

The depression rate was obtained at 38% among pregnant women. Prenatal depression was negatively correlated with positive feelings towards the spouse and pregnancy experience. However, it was directly associated with prenatal distress. Moreover, women’s employment status and their husbands’ education could affect prenatal depression.

The results revealed psychological factors such as feelings towards the spouse and pleasant or unpleasant experiences during pregnancy affected women’s mental health. Thus, these factors should be considered when performing interventions to improve depression during pregnancy. Healthcare clinics should be equipped with depression diagnosis tools in routine care programs to screen pregnant mothers, diagnose prenatal depression early, and perform appropriate interventions.

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