Associations between depressive and anxiety symptoms and neonatal outcomes


Introduction: Maternal depression during pregnancy is associated with adverse neonatal outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight. This has a high public health significance because preterm birth and low birth weight are leading causes of mortality and morbidity in infants. Furthermore, depression during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, can predict bonding difficulties. Although previous research showed that a depressive or anxiety disorder during pregnancy are associated with adverse neonatal outcomes most studies are based on a depressive or anxiety diagnosis and not on the level of experienced depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Study aim: The present study aimed to assess whether severity of anxiey and/or depressive symptoms during pregnancy is associated with adverse neonatal outcomes.

Methods: Data for this investigation are obtained from the outpatient clinic ‘Psychiatry and Pregnancy’ of Dimence mental health institute in the Netherlands. The sample consists of women with a current or lifetime diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety based on DSM 5 criteria. Variables include demographic and personal characteristics, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, degree of support, level of perfectionism, obsession and compulsion symptoms and level of bonding between mother and child. Neonatal outcomes include preterm birth, low birth weight and Apgar score, and are obtained from the partus reports. Chi-square statistics for categorical and analyses of variance for continuous variables are used to compare characteristiscs across depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and comorbid depression/anxiety disorder. Associations between depressive and anxiety characteristics and neonatal outcomes are examined using logistic regression analyses. Analyses are corrected for covariates age, educational level, chronic somatic disease, alcohol/substance use, medication use and psychological treatment.

In kader van:
Onderzoek SCBS, psychiatrie en zwangerschap
Duur van het onderzoek:
april 2022 tot december 2024
Preventie en levensloop
In uitvoering
Sanne Hendriks