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Title: An exploration of the factors influencing the prevalence of antenatal emotional distress
Author: Wright, Helen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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There is evidence that antenatal anxiety and stress may have a negative impact on the foetus, pregnancy outcome and later child development. The aim of this study was to explore the factors influencing antenatal distress in order to inform the development of preventative interventions for women at risk. The study used a cross-sectional survey design in a sample of antenatal women (N=302) to investigate the prevalence and factors influencing depression, anxiety and stress symptomatology. A between-group design was used to investigate the difference between individuals with and without symptomatology and to study the difference in levels of emotional distress across the trimesters of pregnancy. The questionnaire included measures of emotional distress (the EDS and DASS-21), social support (the SOS) and distress from life events (an adapted version of the LTE). 17.2% were identified as suffering from depression symptomatology (as measured by the EDS), 24.5% as having anxious symptomatology and 24.5% as having stress symptomatology (as measured by the DASS-21). Analysis revealed that a lack of support from a partner, mother and an ‘other’ (typically a sibling or friend) were significant predictors of symptomatology. There were different predictive factors for antenatal women with children and primiparous women. Information was also obtained about antenatal women’s preferences for healthcare support with emotional distress. The need to widen the focus from ‘PND’ to perinatal distress was demonstrated. Interventions with an interpersonal focus may prove particularly effective as lack of social support (from a range of individuals) appears to be a significant predictor of antenatal emotional distress.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available