Journal Article Aetiological relationships between factors associated with postnatal traumatic symptoms among Japanese primiparas and multiparas: A longitudinal study

Takegata, Mizuki  ,  Haruna, Megumi  ,  Matsuzaki, Masayo  ,  Shiraishi, Mie  ,  Okano, Tadaharu  ,  Severinsson, Elisabeth

44pp.14 - 23 , 2017-01 , Elsevier Ltd.
Objective this study aims to identify the aetiological relationships of psychosocial factors in postnatal traumatic symptoms among Japanese primiparas and multiparas. Design a longitudinal, observational survey. Setting participants were recruited at three institutions in Tokyo, Japan between April 2013 and May 2014. Questionnaires were distributed to 464 Japanese women in late pregnancy (> 32 gestational weeks, Time 1), on the third day (Time 2) and one month (Time 3) postpartum. Measurements The Japanese Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire (JW-DEQ) version A was used to measure antenatal fear of childbirth and social support, while the Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R) measured traumatic stress symptoms due to childbirth. Findings of the 464 recruited, 427 (92%) completed questionnaires at Time 1, 358 (77%) completed at Time 2, and 248 (53%) completed at Time 3. Total 238 (51%) were analysed. A higher educational level has been identified in analysed group (p=0.021) Structural equation modelling was conducted separately for primiparas and multiparas and exhibited a good fit. In both groups antenatal fear of childbirth predicted Time 2 postnatal traumatic symptoms (β=0.33–0.54, p=0.002–0.007). Antenatal fear of childbirth was associated with a history of mental illness (β=0.23, p=0.026) and lower annual income (β =−0.24, p=0.018). Among multiparas, lower satisfaction with a previous delivery was related to antenatal fear of childbirth (β =−0.28, p < 0.001). Key conclusions antenatal fear of childbirth was a significant predictor of traumatic stress symptoms after childbirth among both primiparous and multiparous women. Fear of childbirth was predicted by a history of mental illness and lower annual income for primiparous women, whereas previous birth experiences were central to multiparous women. Implication for practice the association between antenatal fear of childbirth and postnatal traumatic symptoms indicates the necessity of antenatal care. It may be important to take account of the background of primiparous women, such as a history of mental illness and their attitude towards the upcoming birth. For multiparous women, focusing on and helping them to view their previous birth experiences in a more positive light are vital tasks for midwives.

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