Post-traumatic stress disorder after childbirth and birth satisfaction as an associated risk factor
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Department of Midwifery, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava, Martin, Slovakia
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Eva Urbanová   

Department of Midwifery, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava, Martin, Slovakia
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A137
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth can occur in women who have experienced a traumatic birth. Symptoms of PTSD represent a great burden for women, but also for whole families, so it is necessary to take care of the mental health of pregnant women and mothers. The highly professional and effective care of a woman during delivery leads to a woman's greater satisfaction with childbirth, which can be a positive factor in the appearance of PTSD. The aim of our study was to determine the interference between birth satisfaction and the risk of developing PTSD in women after childbirth.

Material and Methods:
The study included 455 women (mean age 30.4 ±4.8) in the 6-8 week period after childbirth. The sample of women came from four hospitals in Slovakia. A 10-item version of the revised Birth Satisfaction Scale (BSS-R) and the City Birth Trauma Scale (City BiTS; 29-item questionnaire developed to measure birth-related PTSD) were used. The traumatic birth experience was also determined on a scale of 0-10 (0 – not at all traumatic, 5 – mildly traumatic, 10 – extremely traumatic). The design corresponds to a cross-sectional study.

The average score achieved with childbirth satisfaction in the given sample of respondents was 24.5 (± 3.6)/40. The average score of post-traumatic symptoms among respondents, determined on the City BiTS scale, was 8.97(±10)/60. Pearson's correlation analysis performed with BSS-R vs. City BiTS reached a correlation coefficient value of r = -0.545, which is a statistically significant relationship (p<0.001). Student's t-test performed between BSS-R vs. the scale of traumatic experience of childbirth showed a significant statistical relationship between the given indicators (p<0.001), as well as between City BiTS vs. scale of traumatic experience of childbirth (p<0.001).

A significant relationship was found between childbirth satisfaction and the incidence of PTSD symptoms among postpartum women, in that lower levels of satisfaction with childbirth were statistically significantly associated with higher scores of symptoms PTSD. At the same time, women who perceived childbirth as more traumatic showed significantly lower levels of birth satisfaction and higher scores of postnatal symptoms of PTSD than women who did not perceive childbirth as traumatic.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
This research was conducted as part of the International Survey of Childbirth-Related Trauma (INTERSECT) ( funded by the Fondation Miriam de Senarclens and City, University of London. This research was supported by Projekt VEGA no. 1/0333/21 Risk factors associated with posttraumatic stress disorder after birth.
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