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Publications (3)8.48 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to compare psychiatric morbidity and the course of posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety in two groups with severe complications during pregnancy, women after termination of late pregnancy (TOP) due to fetal anomalies and women after preterm birth (PRE). As control group women after the delivery of a healthy child were assessed. A consecutive sample of women who experienced a) termination of late pregnancy in the 2nd or 3rd-trimester (N = 62), or b) preterm birth (N = 43), or c) birth of a healthy child (N = 65) was investigated 14 days (T1), 6 months (T2), and 14 months (T3) after the event. At T1, 22.4% of the women after TOP were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder compared to 18.5% women after PRE, and 6.2% in the control group. The corresponding values at T3 were 16.7%, 7.1%, and 0%. Shortly after the event, a broad spectrum of diagnoses was found; however, 14 months later only affective and anxiety disorders were diagnosed. Posttraumatic stress and clinician-rated depressive symptoms were highest in women after TOP. The short-term emotional reactions to TOP in late pregnancy due to fetal anomaly appear to be more intense than those to preterm birth. Both events can lead to severe psychiatric morbidity with a lasting psychological impact.
    Archives of Women s Mental Health 04/2009; 12(4):193-201. · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The traumatic loss of an unborn child after TOP due to fetal malformation and/or severe chromosomal disorders in late pregnancy is a major life-event and a potential source of serious psychological problems for those women. To obtain information on the course of grief following a traumatic loss, 62 women who had undergone TOP between the 15th and 32nd gestational week were investigated in a longitudinal study design and compared with 65 women after spontaneous delivery of a full-term healthy child. Grief, posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety and psychiatric disorders were evaluated 14 days, 6 months and 14 months after the event, implementing validated self-report and clinician rated instruments. Compared to women after spontaneous delivery, women after induced TOP were significantly more stressed regarding all psychological outcomes at all three measuring points. Especially, 14 months after TOP 13.7% of the women fulfilled all criteria of a complicated grief diagnoses following Horowitz et al. (1997, Am J Psychiat 154:7904-7910). 16.7% were diagnosed as having a manifest psychiatric disorder according to DSM-IV. All in all, 25% of these women were critically affected by the traumatic loss. TOP for fetal anomaly is to be seen as a major life event, which causes complicated grief reactions and psychiatric disorders for a substantial number of women.
    European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 01/2008; 257(8):437-43. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For parents, the premature birth of a child represents a traumatic event for which they are poorly prepared. To date, the focus of scientific interest has been on maternal psychological stress responses, such as anxiety and depression, or on appropriate coping mechanisms, whereas only scant attention has been paid to the traumatic aspect of the maternal experience after very low-birth-weight (VLBW) birth. The present study is the first to investigate the posttraumatic stress response of mothers after the birth of a VLBW infant in a prospective longitudinal study. Fifty mothers of VLBW infants were examined at four measuring time points (1-3 days pp, 14 days pp and 6 and 14 months pp) with respect to posttraumatic symptoms [Impact of Event Scale (IES-R)], psychiatric diagnosis (SKID I for DSM-IV) and the extent of depression [Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Montgomery Asberg Depression Scale (MADRS)] and anxiety [State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA)]. The control group comprised a group of 30 mothers after the uncomplicated spontaneous birth of a healthy child. At all four measuring timepoints (except 6 months pp), the mothers of the premature infants recorded significantly higher values for traumatic experience and depressive symptoms and anxiety compared with the controls. In contrast to the mothers in the control group, the mothers of the premature infants displayed no significant reduction in posttraumatic symptoms (IES-total), even 14 months after birth. The results indicate that the situation of a mother who has given birth to a VLBW infant is a complex, with long-term traumatic event necessitating ongoing emotional support extending beyond the period immediately after the birth.
    Journal of Psychosomatic Research 12/2004; 57(5):473-6. · 3.27 Impact Factor