To lose an unborn child: Post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder following pregnancy loss among Israeli women

Danny Horesh, Malka Nukrian, Yael Bialik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Pregnancy loss (PL) can be a very difficult experience. However, the evidence regarding the prevalence and correlates of psychopathology following PL is inconsistent at best. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) following PL, and their differential predictors. Methods: Participants were 97 women, ages 23–47, who have experienced PL starting from the 2nd trimester. They were recruited at the Hadassah Ein-Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. The mean pregnancy week of loss was 27.92. Participants completed self-report questionnaires assessing PTSD (PCL-5), MDD (BDI-II), sociodemographic variables and factors related to the loss. Results: We have found high rates of probable PTSD (33.3%) and MDD (29.4%) among our sample, as well as high PTSD-MDD comorbidity. A more advanced gestational week of loss and shorter time since PL were positively associated with both PTSD and MDD. Younger age and lower religiosity were associated with more severe PTSD, but not MDD. Conclusions: PL is a potentially-traumatic experience, entailing a heavy burden of PTSD and MDD. Mental health professionals are encouraged to closely monitor women following PL, particularly young mothers, who have experienced PL more recently, and at the advanced stages of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Volume53
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Miscarriage
  • PTSD
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Stillbirth

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