The association of depression and preterm labor

Soheila Ehsanpour, Afsaneh Shabangiz, Parvin Bahadoran, Gholam Reza Kheirabadi


  • Background: There are situations in every woman’s life that impressively affect her whole life. Pregnancy is one of those situations. Pregnancy period is usually accompanied with positive emotions for the women and their families. Sometimes depression during pregnancy disturbs daily activities, acceptance of new roles, pregnant woman´s life responsibilities and pregnancy consequences. The goal of this study was to investigate the association between depression during pregnancy and preterm labor consequences and some personal characteristics.
  • Materials and Methods: This was a cohort study in which the data were collected through cross-sectional method. Primarily, 10 health care centers in Isfahan were randomly selected. The subjects included 378 pregnant women selected based on the number of the pregnant women under the coverage of each health center. The data collection tool was a questionnaire which was filled in two phases. The first phase was during pregnancy and included both personal characteristics and Beck Depression Inventory II and the second phase was after delivery and included the subjects’ pregnancy age at the time of delivery. Content validity and Cranach’s alpha were employed for validity and reliability of the questionnaires, respectively.
  • Findings: Prevalence of depression in the population studied was 26.7%. The results showed that there were significant association between depression during pregnancy and preterm labor (p < 0.001), the education of pregnant women
    (p < 0.001) and their spouses’ education (p = 0.001), the pregnant women’s occupation (p = 0.04) and their spouses’ occupation (p = 0.009). There was no significant association between depression during pregnancy and the women’ age of pregnancy.
  • Conclusions: The findings of the study showed a relationship between depression during pregnancy and preterm labor. Therefore, mental health counselors and programmers are suggested to have some educational programs about psychiatric health for midwives and the personnel who provide health care services for pregnant women.
  • Key words: Depression, preterm labor, pregnancy

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