Maternal Psychological Stress after Prenatal Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease

Fetal Heart Program at the Cardiac Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
The Journal of pediatrics (Impact Factor: 3.74). 09/2012; 162(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.07.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To determine whether prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease (CHD) increases maternal stress. STUDY DESIGN: Self-report instruments were administered to mothers carrying a fetus with CHD. Domains included: (1) traumatic stress (Impact of Events Scale-Revised); (2) depression (Beck Depression Index II); and (3) anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Index). Modifiers included: (1) coping skills (COPE Inventory); (2) partner satisfaction (Dyadic Adjustment Scale); and (3) demographics. Multivariate linear regression models were used to assess relationships between stress measures and modifiers. RESULTS: Fifty-nine mothers (gestational age 27 ± 3 weeks) completed all measures. Clinically important traumatic distress was seen in 39%, depression in 22%, and state anxiety in 31%. Lower partner satisfaction was associated with higher depression (P < .01) and higher anxiety (P < .01). After controlling for partner satisfaction and income, "denial" was most associated with increased traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression (P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: Posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety are common after prenatal diagnosis of CHD. Healthy partner relationships and positive coping mechanisms can act as buffers.

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