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Parents' mental health after the birth of an extremely preterm child: a comparison between bereaved and non-bereaved parents


Jenewein, J; Moergeli, H; Fauchère, J C; Bucher, H U; Kraemer, B; Wittmann, L; Schnyder, U; Büchi, S (2008). Parents' mental health after the birth of an extremely preterm child: a comparison between bereaved and non-bereaved parents. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 29(1):53-60.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of extremely preterm birth (24-26 weeks of gestation) on the mental health of parents two to six years after delivery, and to examine potential differences in post-traumatic growth between parents whose newborn infant died and those whose child survived. METHOD: A total of 54 parents who had lost their newborn and 38 parents whose preterm child survived were assessed by questionnaires with regard to depression and anxiety (HADS) and post-traumatic growth (PTGI). RESULTS: Neither group of parents had clinically relevant levels of depression and anxiety. Mothers showed higher levels of anxiety than fathers. Bereaved parents with no other, living child reported higher levels of depression than bereaved parents with one or more children. Mothers reported higher post-traumatic growth compared to fathers. In particular, bereaved mothers experienced the value and quality of their close social relationships more positively compared to the non-bereaved parents. CONCLUSION: In the long term, bereaved and non-bereaved parents cope reasonably well with an extremely preterm birth of a child. Post-traumatic growth appears to be positively related to bereavement, particularly in mothers.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of extremely preterm birth (24-26 weeks of gestation) on the mental health of parents two to six years after delivery, and to examine potential differences in post-traumatic growth between parents whose newborn infant died and those whose child survived. METHOD: A total of 54 parents who had lost their newborn and 38 parents whose preterm child survived were assessed by questionnaires with regard to depression and anxiety (HADS) and post-traumatic growth (PTGI). RESULTS: Neither group of parents had clinically relevant levels of depression and anxiety. Mothers showed higher levels of anxiety than fathers. Bereaved parents with no other, living child reported higher levels of depression than bereaved parents with one or more children. Mothers reported higher post-traumatic growth compared to fathers. In particular, bereaved mothers experienced the value and quality of their close social relationships more positively compared to the non-bereaved parents. CONCLUSION: In the long term, bereaved and non-bereaved parents cope reasonably well with an extremely preterm birth of a child. Post-traumatic growth appears to be positively related to bereavement, particularly in mothers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neonatology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Klinik für Konsiliarpsychiatrie und Psychosomatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:07 Jan 2009 14:58
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 13:48
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:0167-482X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01674820701640181
PubMed ID:18266165

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