Quality of Life and Emotional Distress among HIV-Positive Women during Transition to Motherhood

Instituto de Psicologia Cognitiva, Desenvolvimento Vocacional e Social, Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra, Rua do Colégio Novo, Apartado 6153, 3001-802 Coimbra, Portugal.
The Spanish Journal of Psychology (Impact Factor: 0.74). 11/2012; 15(3):1303-14. DOI: 10.5209/rev_SJOP.2012.v15.n3.39416
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this preliminary study was to describe the quality of life (QOL) and emotional distress during pregnancy and early postpartum, and to examine the ability of psychopathological symptoms to predict QOL at early postpartum. A sample of 75 pregnant women (31 HIV-positive and 44 HIV-negative) was assessed during the second trimester of pregnancy and two to four days postpartum. QOL was assessed with the WHOQOL-Bref. The emotional distress was assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory, and with the Emotional Assessment Scale. Seropositive women reported increased negative emotional reactivity and lower scores in social relationships and overall QOL during pregnancy than HIV-negative women. Both HIV-positive and HIV-negative women reported better QOL after the birth of their child, when compared with the pregnancy period. Among HIV-positive women, lower anxiety and depressive symptoms during pregnancy were, respectively, significant predictors of better psychological QOL and overall QOL at early postpartum. Less intense somatic symptoms predicted better physical QOL. Longitudinal assessment of QOL and emotional status may provide potentially useful information for tailoring psychological interventions in the maternity care of HIV-infected women, during their transition to motherhood.

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