Psychosocial Stress in High Risk Pregnancy


  • Claire Gourounti
  • Natassa Karpathiotaki
  • Grigoris Vaslamatzis



High risk pregnancy, hospitalization in pregnancy, anxiety, depression, antenatal stress


Objective: A high risk pregnancy may introduce additional psychological stress on a pregnant woman. The aim of this study was to review systematically the available evidence of the psychological
consequences, in terms of anxiety and depression, of high-risk pregnancy.
Methods: A systematic search of the electronic databases was performed. This review considered only quantitative, primary studies in the English language, published during the period 2000-2015 and
relevant to the objective. The population of interest was previously high-risk pregnant women. Outcome variables were general anxiety, depressive symptoms and pregnancy-specifi anxiety. Seven studies
met the inclusion and methodological criteria and were included in the review.
Results: The review revealed that high-risk pregnant women had high levels of depression ranging from 18% to 58% and these rates decrease throughout the course of hospitalization and are similar
between women hospitalized in a hospital/health centre and women bed-rested in home. The review identifis additionally the main psychosocial variables that were related to antenatal anxiety and depression in high-risk pregnancy.
Discussion: Future studies should overcome specifi limitations. Health care professionals should enhance the implementation of psychological screening and counselling to populations of high-risk pregnant women hospitalized in a hospital/health centre or bed-rested in home.






Psychiatry & Mental Health

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