Pre and Postnatal Anxiety in Women Delivering in a Private Obstetric Hospital
Author(s): Tanya Connell
Purpose: High levels of antenatal anxiety may be an important predictor of postnatal anxiety and mood disorders, while co-morbidity of depression and anxiety disorders is common and this has also been shown to occur antenatally. Comorbidities, if depression and anxiety appear they are less prevalent postpartum than prenatal. However, few studies have followed the trajectory of anxiety symptoms perinatally to parenthood, later infancy and childhood.
Methods: This paper is part of a wider research project that implemented psychosocial assessment, including depression screening in one private hospital in New South Wales, Australia. It explores and analyses the anxiety subset questions 3A from the Edinburgh Perinatal Depression Scale.
Results: Two hundred and fifty-five women were screened antenatally and 209 postnatally. Forty-six women were lost to follow-up for various reasons, e.g. refusal or uncontactable. Fifteen percent of women scored 5 (38) or above on the anxiety subset questions at their antenatal booking-in visit, with a mean score of 2.4275. Twenty-four women (12.7%) scored 5 or higher on the anxiety subset questions postnatally, suggesting a higher rate of anxiety symptoms antenatally
Conclusions: There was a higher rate of anxiety symptoms antenatally, suggesting that anxiety requires assessment antenatally.