October-January Research Update

Delivery as Trauma: A Prospective Time-Cohort Study of Maternal and Perinatal Mortality in Rural Cambodia.

Houy C, Ha SO, Steinholt M, Skjerve E, Husum H.

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017 Jan 26:1-7. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X1600145X.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The majority of maternal and perinatal deaths are preventable, but still women and newborns die due to insufficient Basic Life Support in low-resource communities. Drawing on experiences from successful wartime trauma systems, a three-tier chain-of-survival model was introduced as a means to reduce rural maternal and perinatal mortality.

METHODS:

A study area of 266 villages in landmine-infested Northwestern Cambodia were selected based on remoteness and poverty. The five-year intervention from 2005 through 2009 was carried out as a prospective study. The years of formation in 2005 and 2006 were used as a baseline cohort for comparisons with later annual cohorts. Non-professional and professional birth attendants at village level, rural health centers (HCs), and three hospitals were merged with an operational prehospital trauma system. Staff at all levels were trained in life support and emergency obstetrics. Findings The maternal mortality rate was reduced from a baseline level of 0.73% to 0.12% in the year 2009 (95% CI Diff, 0.27-0.98; P<.01). The main reduction was observed in deliveries at village level assisted by traditional birth attendants (TBAs). There was a significant reduction in perinatal mortality rate by year from a baseline level at 3.5% to 1.0% in the year 2009 (95% CI Diff, 0.02-0.03; P<.01). Adjusting maternal and perinatal mortality rates for risk factors, the changes by time cohort remained a significant explanatory variable in the regression model.

CONCLUSION:

The results correspond to experiences from modern prehospital trauma systems: Basic Life Support reduces maternal and perinatal death if provided early. Trained TBAs are effective if well-integrated in maternal health programs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28122653

The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder in pregnancy and after birth: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Yildiz PD, Ayers S, Phillips L.

J Affect Disord. 2017 Jan 15;208:634-645. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.10.009.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous reviews have provided preliminary insights into risk factors and possible prevalence of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) postpartum with no attempt to examine prenatal PTSD. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of PTSD during pregnancy and after birth, and the course of PTSD over this time.

METHODS:

PsychINFO, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science were searched using PTSD terms crossed with perinatal terms. Studies were included if they reported the prevalence of PTSD during pregnancy or after birth using a diagnostic measure.

RESULTS:

59 studies (N =24267) met inclusion criteria: 35 studies of prenatal PTSD and 28 studies of postpartum PTSD (where 4 studies provided prevalence of PTSD in pregnancy and postpartum). In community samples the mean prevalence of prenatal PTSD was 3.3% (95%, CI 2.44-4.54). The majority of postpartum studies measured PTSD in relation to childbirth with a mean prevalence of 4.0% (95%, CI 2.77-5.71) in community samples. Women in high-risk groups were at more risk of PTSD with a mean prevalence of 18.95% (95%, CI 10.62-31.43) in pregnancy and 18.5% (95%, CI 10.6-30.38) after birth. Using clinical interviews was associated with lower prevalence rates in pregnancy and higher prevalence rates postpartum.

LIMITATIONS:

Limitations include use of stringent diagnostic criteria, wide variability of PTSD rates, and inadequacy of studies on prenatal PTSD measured in three trimesters.

CONCLUSIONS:

PTSD is prevalent during pregnancy and after birth and may increase postpartum if not identified and treated. Assessment and treatment in maternity services is recommended.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27865585

 

Testing a cognitive model to predict posttraumatic stress disorder following childbirth.

King L, McKenzie-McHarg K, Horsch A.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2017 Jan 14;17(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s12884-016-1194-3.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

One third of women describes their childbirth as traumatic and between 0.8 and 6.9% goes on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The cognitive model of PTSD has been shown to be applicable to a range of trauma samples. However, childbirth is qualitatively different to other trauma types and special consideration needs to be taken when applying it to this population. Previous studies have investigated some cognitive variables in isolation but no study has so far looked at all the key processes described in the cognitive model. This study therefore aimed to investigate whether theoretically-derived variables of the cognitive model explain unique variance in postnatal PTSD symptoms when key demographic, obstetric and clinical risk factors are controlled for.

METHOD:

One-hundred and fifty-seven women who were between 1 and 12 months post-partum (M = 6.5 months) completed validated questionnaires assessing PTSD and depressive symptoms, childbirth experience, postnatal social support, trauma memory, peritraumatic processing, negative appraisals, dysfunctional cognitive and behavioural strategies and obstetric as well as demographic risk factors in an online survey.

RESULTS:

A PTSD screening questionnaire suggested that 5.7% of the sample might fulfil diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Overall, risk factors alone predicted 43% of variance in PTSD symptoms and cognitive behavioural factors alone predicted 72.7%. A final model including both risk factors and cognitive behavioural factors explained 73.7% of the variance in PTSD symptoms, 37.1% of which was unique variance predicted by cognitive factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

All variables derived from Ehlers and Clark’s cognitive model significantly explained variance in PTSD symptoms following childbirth, even when clinical, demographic and obstetric were controlled for. Our findings suggest that the CBT model is applicable and useful as a way of understanding and informing the treatment of PTSD following childbirth

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28088194

 

Women’s descriptions of childbirth trauma relating to care provider actions and interactions.

Reed R, Sharman R, Inglis C.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2017 Jan 10;17(1):21. doi: 10.1186/s12884-016-1197-0.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many women experience psychological trauma during birth. A traumatic birth can impact on postnatal mental health and family relationships. It is important to understand how interpersonal factors influence women’s experience of trauma in order to inform the development of care that promotes optimal psychosocial outcomes.

METHODS:

As part of a large mixed methods study, 748 women completed an online survey and answered the question ‘describe the birth trauma experience, and what you found traumatising’. Data relating to care provider actions and interactions were analysed using a six-phase inductive thematic analysis process.

RESULTS:

Four themes were identified in the data: ‘prioritising the care provider’s agenda’; ‘disregarding embodied knowledge’; ‘lies and threats’; and ‘violation’. Women felt that care providers prioritised their own agendas over the needs of the woman. This could result in unnecessary intervention as care providers attempted to alter the birth process to meet their own preferences. In some cases, women became learning resources for hospital staff to observe or practice on. Women’s own embodied knowledge about labour progress and fetal wellbeing was disregarded in favour of care provider’s clinical assessments. Care providers used lies and threats to coerce women into complying with procedures. In particular, these lies and threats related to the wellbeing of the baby. Women also described actions that were abusive and violent. For some women these actions triggered memories of sexual assault.

CONCLUSION:

Care provider actions and interactions can influence women’s experience of trauma during birth. It is necessary to address interpersonal birth trauma on both a macro and micro level. Maternity service development and provision needs to be underpinned by a paradigm and framework that prioritises both the physical and emotional needs of women. Care providers require training and support to minimise interpersonal birth trauma.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28068932

 

Maternal childhood trauma, postpartum depression, and infant outcomes: Avoidant affective processing as a potential mechanism.

Choi KW, Sikkema KJ, Vythilingum B, Geerts L, Faure SC, Watt MH, Roos A, Stein DJ.

J Affect Disord. 2017 Jan 8;211:107-115. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.01.004.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Women who have experienced childhood trauma may be at risk for postpartum depression, increasing the likelihood of negative outcomes among their children. Predictive pathways from maternal childhood trauma to child outcomes, as mediated by postpartum depression, require investigation.

METHODS:

A longitudinal sample of South African women (N=150) was followed through pregnancy and postpartum. Measures included maternal trauma history reported during pregnancy; postpartum depression through six months; and maternal-infant bonding, infant development, and infant physical growth at one year. Structural equation models tested postpartum depression as a mediator between maternal experiences of childhood trauma and children’s outcomes. A subset of women (N=33) also participated in a lab-based emotional Stroop paradigm, and their responses to fearful stimuli at six weeks were explored as a potential mechanism linking maternal childhood trauma, postpartum depression, and child outcomes.

RESULTS:

Women with childhood trauma experienced greater depressive symptoms through six months postpartum, which then predicted negative child outcomes at one year. Mediating effects of postpartum depression were significant, and persisted for maternal-infant bonding and infant growth after controlling for covariates and antenatal distress. Maternal avoidance of fearful stimuli emerged as a potential affective mechanism.

LIMITATIONS:

Limitations included modest sample size, self-report measures, and unmeasured potential confounders.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28110156

 

Aetiological relationships between factors associated with postnataltraumatic symptoms among Japanese primiparas and multiparas: A longitudinal study.

Takegata M, Haruna M, Matsuzaki, M, Shiraishi M, Okano T, Severinsson E.

Midwifery. 2017 Jan;44:14-23. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2016.10.008.

Abstract

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.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27865160

 

The impact of postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms on child development: a population-based, 2-year follow-up study.

Garthus-Niegel S, Ayers S, Martini J, von Soest T, Eberhard-Gran M.

Psychol Med. 2017 Jan;47(1):161-170. doi: 10.1017/S003329171600235X.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Against the background of very limited evidence, the present study aimed to prospectively examine the impact of maternal postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms on four important areas of child development, i.e. gross motor, fine motor, communication and social-emotional development.

METHOD:

This study is part of the large, population-based Akershus Birth Cohort. Data from the hospital’s birth record as well as questionnaire data from 8 weeks and 2 years postpartum were used (n = 1472). The domains of child development that were significantly correlated with PTSD symptoms were entered into regression analyses. Interaction analyses were run to test whether the influence of postpartum PTSD symptoms on child development was moderated by child sex or infant temperament.

RESULTS:

Postpartum PTSD symptoms had a prospective relationship with poor child social-emotional development 2 years later. This relationship remained significant even when adjusting for confounders such as maternal depression and anxiety or infant temperament. Both child sex and infant temperament moderated the association between maternal PTSD symptoms and child social-emotional development, i.e. with increasing maternal PTSD symptom load, boys and children with a difficult temperament were shown to have comparatively higher levels of social-emotional problems.

CONCLUSIONS:

Examining four different domains of child development, we found a prospective impact of postpartum PTSD symptoms on children’s social-emotional development at 2 years of age. Our findings suggest that both boys and children with an early difficult temperament may be particularly susceptible to the adverse impact of postpartumPTSD symptoms. Additional studies are needed to further investigate the mechanisms at work.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27682188

 

Childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence during pregnancy, and posttraumatic stress symptoms following childbirth: a path analysis.

Oliveira AG1, Reichenheim ME2, Moraes CL2,3, Howard LM4, Lobato G5.

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Dec 28. doi: 10.1007/s00737-016-0705-6.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to explore the pathways by which childhood sexual abuse (CSA), psychological and physical intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy, and other covariates relate to each other and to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in the postpartum period. The sample comprised 456 women who gave birth at a maternity service for high-risk pregnancies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, interviewed at 6-8 weeks after birth. A path analysis was carried out to explore the postulated pathways between exposures and outcome. Trauma History Questionnaire, Conflict Tactics Scales and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist were used to assess information about exposures of main interest and outcome. The link between CSA and PTSD symptoms was mediated by history of trauma, psychiatric history, psychological IPV, and fear of childbirth during pregnancy. Physical IPV was directly associated with postnatal PTSD symptoms, whereas psychological IPV connection seemed to be partially mediated by physical abuse and fear of childbirth during pregnancy. The role of CSA, IPV, and other psychosocial characteristics on the occurrence of PTSD symptoms following childbirth as well as the intricate network of these events should be acknowledged in clinic and intervention approaches.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28032212

 

Predictors of birth-related post-traumatic stress symptoms: secondary analysis of a cohort study.

Furuta M1, Sandall J2, Cooper D3, Bick D3.

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Dec;19(6):987-999. Epub 2016 May 13.

Abstract

This study aimed to identify factors associated with birth-related post-traumatic stress symptoms during the early postnatal period. Secondary analysis was conducted using data from a prospective cohort study of 1824 women who gave birth in one large hospital in England. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were measured by the Impact of Event Scale at 6 to 8 weeks postpartum. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models were developed for analyses. Results showed that post-traumatic stress symptoms were more frequently observed in black women and in women who had a higher pre-pregnancy BMI compared to those with a lower BMI. Women who have a history of mental illness as well as those who gave birth before arriving at the hospital, underwent an emergency caesarean section or experienced severe maternal morbidity or neonatal complications also showed symptoms. Women’s perceived control during labour and birth significantly reduced the effects of some risk factors. A higher level of perceived social support during the postnatal period also reduced the risk of post-traumatic stress symptoms. From the perspective of clinical practice, improving women’s sense of control during labour and birth appears to be important, as does providing social support following the birth.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27178126

 

Mothers and midwives perceptions of birthing position and perineal trauma: An exploratory study.

Diorgu FC1Steen MP2Keeling JJ3Mason-Whitehead E4.

Women Birth. 2016 Dec;29(6):518-523. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 May 26.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Studies have associated lithotomy position during childbirth with negative consequences and increased risk of perineal injuries.

AIMS:

To identify prevalence rates of different birthing position and episiotomy and to explore the differences in perspectives of mothers and midwives about birthing positions and perineal trauma.

METHODS:

A survey involving 110 mothers and 110 midwives at two hospitals. Participants were mothers who had a vaginal birth/perineal injury and midwives who attended births that resulted in perineal injuries. Perceptions of mothers and midwives were analysed. Pearson’s chi-square test was used to measure association between birthing positions and perineal trauma.

FINDINGS:

Mothers, n=94 (85%) and midwives, n=108 (98%) reported high rates of lithotomy position for birth. N=63 (57%) of mothers perceived lithotomy position as not being helpful for birth. In contrast, a similar number of midwives perceived lithotomy position as helpful, n=65 (59%). However, a high majority of mothers, n=106 (96%) and midwives, n=97 (88%) reported they would be willing to use alternative positions. Majority of mothers had an episiotomy, n=80 (73%) and n=76 (69%) reported they did not give their consent. N=59 (53%) reported they were not given local anaesthesia for an episiotomy. n=30 (27%) of midwives confirmed they performed an episiotomy without local anaesthesia.

CONCLUSION:

Care is not based on current evidence and embedded practices, i.e. birthing in lithotomy position and routine episiotomies are commonly used. However, this survey did find a willingness to change, adapt practice and consider different birthing positions and this may lead to fewer episiotomies being performed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27237831

 

Effectiveness of trauma-focused psychological therapies compared to usual postnatal care for treating post-traumatic stress symptoms in women following traumatic birth: a systematic review protocol.

Furuta M1Spain D2Bick D3Ng ES4Sin J2,5.

BMJ Open. 2016 Nov 24;6(11):e013697. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013697.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Maternal mental health has been largely neglected in the literature. Women, however, may be vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress symptoms or post-traumaticstress disorder (PTSD), following traumatic birth. In turn, this may affect their capacity for child rearing and ability to form a secure bond with their baby and impact on the wider family. Trauma-focused psychological therapies (TFPT) are widely regarded as effective and acceptable interventions for PTSD in general and clinical populations. Relatively little is known about the effectiveness of TFPT for women postpartum who have post-traumatic stress symptoms.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS:

We will conduct a review to assess the effectiveness of TFPT, compared with usual postpartum care, as a treatment for post-traumatic stress symptoms or PTSD for women following traumatic birth. Using a priori search criteria, we will search for randomised controlled trials (RCT) in four databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, PsycINFO and OpenGrey. We will use search terms that relate to the population, TFPT and comparators. Screening of search results and data extraction will be undertaken by two reviewers, independently. Risk of bias will be assessed in RCTs which meet the review criteria. Data will be analysed using the following methods, as appropriate: narrative synthesis; meta-analysis; subgroup analysis and meta-regression.

DISSEMINATION AND ETHICS:

As this work comprises a synthesis of existing studies, ethical approvals are not required. Results will be disseminated at conferences and in publications.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27884855

 

Patterns of separation anxiety symptoms amongst pregnant women in conflict-affected Timor-Leste: Associations with traumatic loss, family conflict, and intimate partner violence.

Silove DM1Tay AK1Tol WA2Tam N1Dos Reis N3da Costa Z3Soares C3Rees S4.

J Affect Disord. 2016 Nov 15;205:292-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.07.052. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adult separation anxiety (ASA) symptoms are prevalent amongst young women in low and middle-income countries and symptoms may be common in pregnancy. No studies have focused on defining distinctive patterns of ASA symptoms amongst pregnant women in these settings or possible associations with trauma exposure and ongoing stressors.

METHODS:

In a consecutive sample of 1672 women attending antenatal clinics in Dili, Timor-Leste (96% response), we assessed traumatic events of conflict, ongoing adversity, intimate partner violence (IPV), ASA, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe psychological distress. Latent Class Analysis was used to identify classes of women based on their distinctive profiles of ASA symptoms, comparisons then being made with key covariates including trauma domains of conflict, intimate partner violence (IPV) and ongoing stressors.

RESULTS:

LCA yielded three classes, comprising a core ASA (4%), a limited ASA (25%) and a low symptom class (61%). The core ASA class reported exposure to multiple traumatic losses and IPV and showed a pattern of comorbidity with PTSD; the limited ASA class predominantly reported exposure to ongoing stressors and was comorbid with severe psychological distress; the low symptom class reported relatively low levels of exposure to trauma and stressors.

LIMITATIONS:

The study is cross-sectional, cautioning against inferring causal inferences.

CONCLUSIONS:

The core ASA group may be in need of immediate intervention given the high rate of exposure to IPV amongst this class. A larger number of women experiencing a limited array of non-specific ASA symptoms may need assistance to address the immediate stressors of pregnancy.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27552593

 

Post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression following miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy: a prospective cohort study.

Farren J1Jalmbrant M2Ameye L3Joash K1Mitchell-Jones N4Tapp S1Timmerman D3,5Bourne T1,3,5.

BMJ Open. 2016 Nov 2;6(11):e011864. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011864.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This is a pilot study to investigate the type and severity of emotional distress in women after early pregnancy loss (EPL), compared with a control group with ongoing pregnancies. The secondary aim was to assess whether miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy impacted differently on the type and severity of psychological morbidity.

DESIGN:

This was a prospective survey study. Consecutive women were recruited between January 2012 and July 2013. We emailed women a link to a survey 1, 3 and 9 months after a diagnosis of EPL, and 1 month after the diagnosis of a viable ongoing pregnancy.

SETTING:

The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) of a central London teaching hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

We recruited 186 women. 128 had a diagnosis of EPL, and 58 of ongoing pregnancies. 11 withdrew consent, and 11 provided an illegible or invalid email address.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was measured using the Post-traumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), and anxiety and depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

RESULTS:

Response rates were 69/114 at 1 month and 44/68 at 3 months in the EPL group, and 20/50 in controls. Psychological morbidity was higher in the EPL group with 28% meeting the criteria for probable PTSD, 32% for anxiety and 16% for depression at 1 month and 38%, 20% and 5%, respectively, at 3 months. In the control group, no women met criteria for PTSD and 10% met criteria for anxiety and depression. There was little difference in type or severity of distress following ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

CONCLUSIONS:

We have shown a large number of women having experienced a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy fulfil the diagnostic criteria for probable PTSD. Many suffer from moderate-to-severe anxiety, and a lesser number depression. Psychological morbidity, and in particular PTSD symptoms, persists at least 3 months following pregnancy loss.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27807081

 

The effects of antenatal education on fear of childbirth, maternal self-efficacy and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms following childbirth: an experimental study.

Gökçe İsbir G1İnci F2Önal H3Yıldız PD4.

Appl Nurs Res. 2016 Nov;32:227-232. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2016.07.013.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fear of birth and low childbirth self-efficacy is predictive of post-traumaticstress disorder symptoms following childbirth. The efficacy of antenatal education classes on fear of birth and childbirth self-efficacy has been supported; however, the effectiveness of antenatal classes on post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms after childbirth has received relatively little research attention.

PURPOSE:

This study examined the effects of antenatal education on fear of childbirth, maternal self-efficacy and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following childbirth.

DESIGN:

Quasi-experimental study.

METHODS:

The study was conducted in a city located in the Middle Anatolia region of Turkey and data were collected between December 2013 and May 2015. Two groups of women were compared-an antenatal education intervention group (n=44), and a routine prenatal care control group (n=46). The Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire, Version A and B, Childbirth Self-efficacy Inventory and Impact of Event Scale-Revised was used to assess fear of childbirth, maternal self-efficacy and PTSD symptoms following childbirth.

RESULTS:

Compared to the control group, women who attended antenatal education had greater childbirth self-efficacy, greater perceived support and control in birth, and less fear of birth and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following childbirth (all comparisons, p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Antenatal education appears to alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms after childbirth.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27969033

 

Interplay of demographic variables, birth experience, and initial reactions in the prediction of symptoms of posttraumatic stress one year after giving birth.

König J1Schmid S2Löser E3Neumann O4Buchholz S5Kästner R6.

Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2016 Oct 24;7:32377. doi: 10.3402/ejpt.v7.32377.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There has been increasing research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childbirth in the last two decades. The literature on predictors of who develops posttraumatic stress symptoms (PSS) suggests that both vulnerability and birth factors have an influence, but many studies measure predictors and outcomes simultaneously.

OBJECTIVE:

In this context, we aimed to examine indirect and direct effects of predictors of PSS, which were measured longitudinally.

METHOD:

We assessed women within the first days (n=353), 6 weeks, and 12 months (n=183) after having given birth to a healthy infant. The first assessment included questions on demographics, pregnancy, and birth experience. The second and third assessments contained screenings for postpartum depression, PTSD, and general mental health problems, as well as assessing social support and physical well-being. We analysed our data using structural equation modelling techniques (n=277).

RESULTS:

Our final model showed good fit and was consistent with a diathesis-stress model of PSS. Women who had used antidepressant medication in the 10 years before childbirth had higher PSS at 6 weeks, independent of birth experiences. Subjective birth experience was the early predictor with the highest total effect on later PSS. Interestingly, a probable migration background also had a small but significant effect on PSS via more episiotomies. The null results for social support may have been caused by a ceiling effect.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given that we measured predictors at different time points, our results lend important support to the etiological model, namely, that there is a vulnerability pathway and a stress pathway leading to PSS. PSS and other psychological measures stayed very stable between 6 weeks and 1 year postpartum, indicating that it is possible to identify women developing problems early.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ARTICLE:

Our results are consistent with a diathesis-stress model: vulnerability (antidepressant use in the previous 10 years) influenced posttraumatic stress symptoms at 6 weeks and 1 year, independently of stress (birth-related variables). The strongest predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms 1 year postpartum was posttraumatic stress symptoms 6 weeks postpartum. This means that women who develop problems could be identified during routinely offered postpartum care. Women with a probable migration background experienced more PSS 1 year after the birth, which was an indirect effect through more episiotomies and more PSS after 6 weeks.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27782876

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder following emergency peripartum hysterectomy.

de la Cruz CZ1Coulter M2O’Rourke K3Mbah AK3Salihu HM3,4.

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016 Oct;294(4):681-8. doi: 10.1007/s00404-016-4008-y.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Our objective was to explore if women who experience emergency peripartum hysterectomy (EPH), a type of severe maternal morbidity, are more likely to screen positive for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to women who did not experience EPH.

METHODS:

Using a retrospective cohort design, women were sampled through online communities. Participants completed online screens for PTSD. Additionally, women provided sociodemographic, obstetric, psychiatric, and psychosocial information. We conducted bivariate and logistic regression analyses, then Monte Carlo simulation and propensity score matching to calculate the risk of screening positive for PTSD after EPH.

RESULTS:

74 exposed women (experienced EPH) and 335 non-exposed women (did not experience EPH) completed the survey. EPH survivors were nearly two times more likely to screen positive for PTSD (aOR: 1.90; 95 % CI: 1.57, 2.30), and nearly 2.5 times more likely to screen positive for PTSD at 6 months postpartum compared to women who were not EPH survivors (aOR: 2.46; 95 % CI: 1.92, 3.16).

CONCLUSION:

The association of EPH and PTSD was statistically significant, indicating a need for further research, and the potential need for support services for these women following childbirth.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26781263

 

Maternal birth trauma: why should it matter to urogynaecologists?

Dietz HP1Wilson PDMilsom I.

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Oct;28(5):441-8. doi:10.1097/GCO.0000000000000304.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

There is increasing awareness of the importance of intrapartum events for future pelvic floor morbidity in women. In this review, we summarize recent evidence and potential consequences for clinical practice.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Both epidemiological evidence and data from perinatal imaging studies have greatly improved our understanding of the link between childbirth and later morbidity. The main consequences of traumatic childbirth are pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and anal incontinence. In both instances the primary etiological pathways have been identified: levator trauma in the case of POP and anal sphincter tears in the case of anal incontinence. As most such trauma is occult, imaging is required for diagnosis.

SUMMARY:

Childbirth-related major maternal trauma is much more common than generally assumed, and it is the primary etiological factor in POP and anal incontinence. Both sphincter and levator trauma can now be identified on imaging. This is crucial not only for clinical care and audit, but also for research. Postnatally diagnosed trauma can serve as intermediate outcome measure in intervention trials, opening up multiple opportunities for clinical research aimed at primary and secondary prevention.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27454848

 

Screening for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Prenatal Care: Prevalence and Characteristics in a Low-Income Population.

Wenz-Gross M1,2Weinreb L3Upshur C3,4,5.

Matern Child Health J. 2016 Oct;20(10):1995-2002. doi: 10.1007/s10995-016-2073-2.

Abstract

Objectives Investigate the feasibility of using a brief, 4-item PTSD screening tool (PTSD-PC) as part of routine prenatal care in two community health care settings serving ethnically and linguistically diverse low-income populations. Report prevalence and differences by sub-threshold and clinical levels, in demographic, health, mental health, risk behaviors, and service use. Methods Women were screened as part of their prenatal intake visit over a 2-year period. Those screening positive at clinical or sub-threshold levels were recruited if they spoke English, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese or Arabic. Enrolled women were interviewed about psychosocial risk factors, prior traumas, PTSD symptoms, depression, anxiety, substance use, health and services, using validated survey instruments. Results Of 1362 women seen for prenatal intakes, 1259 (92 %) were screened, 208 (17 %) screened positive for PTSD at clinical (11 %) or sub-threshold levels (6 %), and 149 (72 % of all eligible women) enrolled in the study. Those screening positive were significantly younger, had more prior pregnancies, were less likely to be Asian or black, and were more likely to be non-English speakers. Enrolled women at clinical as compared to sub-threshold levels showed few differences in psychosocial risk, but had significantly more types of trauma, more trauma before age 18, more interpersonal trauma, and had greater depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms. Only about 25 % had received mental health treatment. Conclusions The PTSD-PC was a feasible screening tool for use in prenatal care. While those screening in at clinical levels were more symptomatic, those at subthreshold levels still showed substantial symptomology and psychosocial risk.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27400916

 

Paternal mental health following perceived traumatic childbirth.

Inglis C1Sharman R2Reed R3.

Midwifery. 2016 Oct;41:125-131. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2016.08.008. Epub 2016 Aug 22.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

the objective behind the current study was to explore the experiences and perceptions of fathers after childbirth trauma, an area of minimal research. This is part two of a two-part series conducted in 2014 researching the mental health of fathers after experiencing a perceived traumatic childbirth.

DESIGN:

qualitative methodology using semi-structured interviews and reporting of qualitative questions administered in part one’s online survey (Inglis, 2014).

SETTING:

interviews conducted face-to-face at an Australian University or on Skype.

PARTICIPANTS:

sixty-nine responded to the online qualitative questions and of these seven were interviewed.

MEASUREMENTS:

thematic analysis of verbal and written qualitative responses.

FINDINGS:

thematic analysis of qualitative survey data and interviews found a global theme ‘standing on the sideline’ which encompassed two major themes of witnessing trauma: unknown territory, and the aftermath: dealing with it, and respective subthemes.

KEY CONCLUSIONS:

according to the perceptions and experiences of the fathers, there was a significant lack of communication between birthing teams and fathers, and fathers experienced a sense of marginalisation before, during, and after the traumatic childbirth. The findings of this study suggest that these factors contributed to the perception of trauma in the current sample. Whilst many fathers reported the negative impact of the traumatic birth on themselves and their relationships, some reported post-traumatic growth from the experience and others identified friends and family as a valuable source of support.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27621058

 

Risk factors associated with post-traumatic stress symptoms following childbirth in Turkey.

Gökçe İsbİr G1İncİ F1Bektaş M2Dikmen Yıldız P3Ayers S4.

Midwifery. 2016 Oct;41:96-103. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2016.07.016.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

this study examined factors associated with symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) following childbirth in women with normal, low-risk pregnancies in Nigde, Turkey.

DESIGN:

a prospective longitudinal design where women completed questionnaire measures at 20+ weeks’ gestation and 6-8 weeks after birth.

SETTING:

eligible pregnant women were recruited from nine family healthcare centres in Nigde between September 2013 and July 2014.

PARTICIPANTS:

a total of 242 women completed questionnaires at both time points.

MEASURES:

PTS symptoms were measured using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) 6-8 weeks after birth. Potential protective or risk factors of childbirth self-efficacy, fear of childbirth, adaptation to pregnancy/motherhood, and perceived social support were measured in pregnancy and after birth. Perceived support and control during birth was measured after birth. Demographic and obstetric information was collected in pregnancy using standard self-report questions.

FINDINGS:

PTS symptoms were associated with being multiparous, having a planned pregnancy, poor psychological adaptation to pregnancy, higher outcome expectancy but lower efficacy expectancy during pregnancy, urinary catheterization during labour, less support and perceived control in birth, less satisfaction with hospital care, poor psychological adaptation to motherhood and increased fear of birth post partum. Regression analyses showed the strongest correlates of PTS symptoms were high outcome and low efficacy expectancies in pregnancy, urinary catheterization in labour, poor psychological adaptation to motherhood and increased fear of birth post partum. This model accounted for 29% of the variance in PTS symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

this study suggests women in this province in Turkey report PTS symptoms after birth and this is associated with childbirth self-efficacy in pregnancy, birth factors, and poor adaptation to motherhood and increased fear of birth post partum.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

maternity care services in Turkey need to recognise the potential impact of birth experiences on women’s mental health and adaptation after birth. The importance of self-efficacy in pregnancy suggests antenatal education or support may protect women against developing post partum PTS, but this needs to be examined further.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27571774

 

Psychosocial health and well-being among obstetricians and midwives involved in traumatic childbirth.

Schrøder K1Larsen PV2Jørgensen JS3Hjelmborg JV4Lamont RF5Hvidt NC6.

Midwifery. 2016 Oct;41:45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2016.07.013.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

this study investigates the self-reported psychosocial health and well-being of obstetricians and midwives in Denmark during the most recent four weeks as well as their recall of their health and well-being immediately following their exposure to a traumatic childbirth.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

a 2012 national survey of all Danish obstetricians and midwives (n=2098). The response rate was 59% of which 85% (n=1027) stated that they had been involved in a traumatic childbirth. The psychosocial health and well-being of the participants was investigated using six scales from the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQII). Responses were assessed on six scales: burnout, sleep disorders, general stress, depressive symptoms, somatic stress and cognitive stress. Associations between COPSOQII scales and participant characteristics were analysed using linear regression.

RESULTS:

midwives reported significantly higher scores than obstetricians, to a minor extent during the most recent four weeks and to a greater extent immediately following a traumatic childbirth scale, indicating higher levels of self-reported psychosocial health problems. Sub-group analyses showed that this difference might be gender related. Respondents who had left the labour ward partly or primarily because they felt that the responsibility was too great a burden to carry reported significantly higher scores on all scales in the aftermath of the traumatic birth than did the group who still worked on the labour ward. None of the scales were associated with age or seniority in the time after the traumatic birth indicating that both junior and senior staff may experience similar levels of psychosocial health and well-being in the aftermath. KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: this study shows an association between profession (midwife or obstetrician) and self-reported psychosocial health and well-being both within the most recent four weeks and immediately following a traumatic childbirth. The association may partly be explained by gender. This knowledge may lead to better awareness of the possibility of differences related to profession and gender when conducting debriefings and offering support to HCPs in the aftermath of traumatic childbirth. As many as 85% of the respondents in this national study stated that they had been involved in at least one traumatic childbirth, suggesting that the handling of the aftermath of these events is important when caring for the psychosocial health and well-being of obstetric and midwifery staff.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27540830

 

Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and the association with symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress in a multi-ethnic pregnant population in southern Sweden.

Wangel AM1Ryding EL2Schei B3Östman M1Lukasse M4Bidens study group.

Sex Reprod Healthc. 2016 Oct;9:7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2016.04.003.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study aims to describe the prevalence of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and analyze associations with symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress (PTS) in pregnancy, by ethnic background.

STUDY DESIGN:

This is a cross-sectional study of the Swedish data from the Bidens cohort study. Ethnicity was categorized as native and non-native Swedish-speakers. Women completed a questionnaire while attending routine antenatal care. The NorVold Abuse Questionnaire (NorAQ) assessed a history of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. The Edinburgh Depression Scale-5 measured symptoms of depression. Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) included intrusion, avoidance and numbness.

RESULTS:

Of 1003 women, 78.6% were native and 21.4% were non-native Swedish-speakers. Native and non-native Swedish-speakers experienced a similar proportion of lifetime abuse. Moderate emotional and physical abuse in childhood was significantly more common among non-native Swedish-speakers. Sexual abuse in adulthood was significantly more prevalent among native Swedish-speakers. Emotional and sexual abuse were significantly associated with symptoms of depression for both natives and non-natives. Physical abuse was significantly associated with symptoms of depression for non-natives only. All types of abuse were significantly associated with symptoms of PTS for both native and non-native Swedish-speakers. Adding ethnicity to the multiple binary regression analyses did not really alter the association between the different types of abuse and symptoms of depression and PTS.

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence of lifetime abuse did not differ significantly for native and non-native Swedish-speakers but there were significant differences on a more detailed level. Abuse was associated with symptoms of depression and PTS. Being a non-native Swedish-speaker did not influence the association much.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27634658

A socioecological model of posttraumatic stress among Australian midwives

Julia Leinweber, Debra K. Creedy, Heather Rowe, Jenny Gamble

Highlights

  • Recalled reactions of horror and feelings of guilt during or shortly after witnessing birth trauma predicted probable posttraumatic stress disorder among midwives.
  • Witnessing birth trauma can reactivate personal traumatic birth experiences among midwives.
  • Posttraumatic stress symptoms were associated with intention to leave the profession and may contribute to attrition in midwifery.

Abstract

Objective

to develop a comprehensive model of personal, trauma event-related and workplace-related risk factors for posttraumatic stress subsequent to witnessing birth trauma among Australian midwives.

Design

a descriptive, cross-sectional design was used.

Participants

members of the Australian College of Midwives were invited to complete an online survey.

Measurements

the survey included items about witnessing a traumatic birth event and previous experiences of life trauma. Trauma symptoms were assessed with the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale Self-Report measure. Empathy was assessed with the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Decision authority and psychological demand in the workplace were measured with the Job Content Questionnaire. Variables that showed a significant univariate association with probable posttraumatic stress disorder were entered into a multivariate logistic regression model.

Findings

601 completed survey responses were analysed. The multivariable model was statistically significant and explained 27.7% (Nagelkerke R square) of the variance in posttraumatic stress symptoms and correctly classified 84.1% of cases. Odds ratios indicated that intention to leave the profession, a peritraumatic reaction of horror, peritraumatic feelings of guilt, and a personal traumatic birth experience were strongly associated with probable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Conclusions

risk factors for posttraumatic stress following professional exposure to traumatic birth events among midwives are complex and multi-factorial. Posttraumatic stress may contribute to attrition in midwifery. Trauma-informed care and practice may reduce the incidence of traumatic births and subsequent posttraumatic stress reactions in women and midwives providing care.

http://www.midwiferyjournal.com/article/S0266-6138(16)30305-9/abstract