Predictors of Depression and Anxiety in Mothers of Moderate and Late Preterm Infants in Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Units
Subjectdepression, anxiety, postpartum, mothers, moderate and late preterm infants
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AbstractPostpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA) affect up to 19% and 17% of women, respectively. In mothers of preterm infants, depression (68%) and anxiety (72%) symptoms may be increased due to the stressful neonatal intensive care (NICU) environment. In 2015, 8.7% of infants, born in Alberta, were born preterm requiring hospitalization in the NICU, with 86% categorized as moderate or late preterms. Preterm birth, together with PPD and PPA, may have serious consequences for mother and infant outcomes. This observational correlational study included 197 mothers with data collected at admission and discharge from the NICU. The aim was to explore the prevalence, time course, comorbidity and predictors of postpartum maternal depression and anxiety in the moderate and late preterm population. Mothers reported depression (18%) and anxiety (42%) symptoms at admission to the NICU, a slight decrease of symptoms from admission to discharge, comorbidity of depression and anxiety symptoms with no identifiable maternal, infant, or pregnancy-related risk factors on the admission survey for depression or anxiety symptoms. These results suggest that universal screening may be critical for early identification of PPA and PPD. Psychological support and evidence-based interventions have the potential to decrease maternal depression and anxiety to improve long-term outcomes of mother and infant.
CitationKearl, J. (2019). Predictors of Depression and Anxiety in Mothers of Moderate and Late Preterm Infants in Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Units (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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