A group of researchers of the University of Modena has investigated the role of psychological well-being in premature delivery. The study is reported in a recent issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
The aim of this study was to evaluate how sociodemographic factors, psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy and well-being levels are associated with the onset of preterm uterine contractions allowing symptomatic preterm labor. In a prospective case-control design, 51 consecutive women admitted for threatened preterm labor were enrolled.
The patients received standard care. The day before discharge, once contractions had been stopped, the patients were administered 2 questionnaires: the Prenatal Self-Evaluation Questionnaire of Lederman and the Psychological Well-Being Scales. Controls were enrolled among asymptomatic, healthy women attending routine prenatal care.
They were matched for parity and gestational age. Gestational age at inclusion ranged from 25 to 34 weeks. Fourteen cases and 4 controls delivered preterm. Cases were less educated than controls, showed a lower acceptance of pregnancy and worse relationship with others, namely with the husband, compared to controls.
They also displayed a reduced environmental mastery. Having a low education, poor relationship with others, including the husband, and impaired coping skills appeared to be independent risk factors for the development of symptomatic preterm labor in urbanized women.
Journal reference: Facchinetti, F. ; Ottolini, F. ; Fazzio, M. ; Rigatelli, M. ; Volpe, A. Psychosocial Factors Associated with Preterm Uterine Contractions. Psychother Psychosom 2007;76:391-394
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