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Anxious personality traits in pregnant women: Associations with postpartum depression, delivery complications and health care use
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2706-1730
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Anxious personality traits, including those encompassed by negative emotionality (neuroticism) and the tendency to worry about close relationships (attachment anxiety) during pregnancy were the focus of this thesis. The overall aim was to examine perinatal correlates of these characteris-tics in terms of psychiatric and obstetric health as well as antenatal care (ANC).

Papers I-II were part of a large population-based project on pregnant women in Uppsala in 2009-2012 (n=2160). Papers III-IV adjoined participants from several projects in 2005-2011, on oral contraceptive use, infertility, induced abortion, premenstrual mood disorder, and perina-tal depression (n=2819). The participants reported on the Swedish universities Scales of Per-sonality for neuroticism (papers II-IV) and the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) for attachment anxiety (papers I-II). The participants also answered the Edinburgh Postnatal De-pression Scale on depressive symptoms (paper II). In paper III, information on obstetric com-plications for primiparous women with singleton pregnancies (n=1969) was extracted from Swedish national health registers. In paper IV, ANC use was derived from medical records of obstetric low-risk women residing in Uppsala (n=1052).

The ASQ had similar psychometric properties in pregnant women (n=1631) as in previous reports (paper I). In non-depressed pregnant women (n=1431), the combination of neuroticism and attachment anxiety was the best risk indicator of postpartum depressive symptoms (paper II). Whereas high neuroticism was not related to obstetric complications (paper III), it was associated with higher use of ANC (paper IV).

Summarized, this thesis illustrates how anxious personality traits may predispose for post-partum depression and higher use of ANC in the absence of obstetric complications. Future development of these findings should be to evaluate individual and societal benefits of a greater emphasis on psychological support in ANC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. , p. 67
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1510
Keywords [en]
Personality, neuroticism, adult attachment, perinatal depression, postpartum depression, obstetric complications, health care use
National Category
Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-359600ISBN: 978-91-513-0488-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-359600DiVA, id: diva2:1258490
Public defence
2018-12-14, Auditorium minus, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2018-11-30
List of papers
1. Psychometric properties of the attachment style questionnaire in Swedish pregnant women: short and full versions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychometric properties of the attachment style questionnaire in Swedish pregnant women: short and full versions
2017 (English)In: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, ISSN 0264-6838, E-ISSN 1469-672X, Vol. 35, no 5, p. 450-461Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: (i) To evaluate the reliability and factor structure of the Attachment Style Questionnaire – Short Form (ASQ-SF) for use in pregnant women and (ii) to compare the reliability and factor structure of the short- and full version-ASQ among pregnant women. Background: Adult attachment insecurity is currently included as a major risk factor in studies of perinatal health. None of the self-report measures with a Swedish translation have been psychometrically evaluated in a pregnant cohort.

Methods: A population-based cohort of 1631 pregnant women answered the ASQ in late pregnancy. Internal consistency (item- subscale correlations, Cronbach’s α, and α if item deleted) was evaluated for the seven available subscales. Con rmatory factor analysis (CFA) was run to examine the factor structure of the short form compared with the full-version. Test–retest correlations were assessed in a subgroup (n = 48).

Results: All mean item-subscale correlations for the ASQ-SF were > 0.30. Cronbach’s α’s for ASQ-SF dimensions were as follows: Avoidance (0.87); Anxiety (0.89); Discomfort with Closeness (0.85); Relationships as Secondary (0.54); Con dence (0.83); Need for Approval (0.76); and Preoccupation with Relationships (0.77). No item removal substantively increased subscale α’s. The CFA demonstrated better model t for the ASQ-SF than for the full-version ASQ, while other reliability measures were similar. Test–retest correlations ranged from 0.65 to 0.84.

Conclusion: The ASQ-SF showed similar psychometric properties in pregnant women as in the general population and had good reliability, but the optimal factor structure needs to be studied further. Results support the usage of the ASQ-SF in pregnant cohorts. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keywords
adult attachment, attachment style questionnaire, reliability, pregnancy
National Category
Clinical Medicine
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-342268 (URN)10.1080/02646838.2017.1342786 (DOI)000416753300003 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 521-2013-2339
Available from: 2018-02-19 Created: 2018-02-19 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved
2. Adult attachment's unique contribution in the prediction of postpartum depressive symptoms, beyond personality traits
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adult attachment's unique contribution in the prediction of postpartum depressive symptoms, beyond personality traits
2017 (English)In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, E-ISSN 1573-2517, Vol. 222, p. 177-184Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background:

Personality traits such as neuroticism can help identify pregnant women at risk of postpartum depressive symptoms (PPDS). However, it is unclear whether attachment style could have an additional contribution to this risk elevation. This study aimed to examine the overlap of adult attachment insecurity and neuroticism/trait anxiety as PPDS predictors, taking into account baseline depressive symptoms.

Methods:

A Swedish population-based sample of pregnant women reported on adult attachment and either neuroticism (n = 1063) or trait anxiety (n = 555). Depressive symptoms were assessed at baseline, and at six weeks and six months postpartum. Correlations between attachment and neuroticism/trait anxiety were calculated. Generalized linear models of PPDS tested the effect of attachment anxiety and avoidance, adjusting for neuroticism/trait anxiety and baseline depression. Logistic regression models with combined high attachment anxiety and-neuroticism/trait anxiety visualized their value as risk factors beyond antenatal depression.

Results:

Attachment and neuroticism/trait anxiety were highly correlated (r = .55.77). Attachment anxiety exerted a partially independent effect on PPDS at six weeks (p < .05) and at six months (p < .05) adjusting for neuroticism. Among antenatally non-depressed, combined high attachment anxiety and high neuroticism or trait anxiety was predictive of PPDS at both assessment points. Limitations: Low acceptance rate, exclusive use of self-reports.

Conclusions:

Beyond personality, attachment anxiety had a small independent effect on the risk of PPDS. Combining items of adult attachment and neuroticism/trait anxiety could prove useful in antenatal screening for high risk of PPDS.

Keywords
Adult attachment, Neuroticism, Trait anxiety, Personality, Pregnancy, Postpartum depression
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333735 (URN)10.1016/j.jad.2017.07.005 (DOI)000407657100027 ()28709025 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2017-11-20 Created: 2017-11-20 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved
3. Neuroticism is not independently associated with adverse obstetric or neonatal outcomes: An observational study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neuroticism is not independently associated with adverse obstetric or neonatal outcomes: An observational study
Show others...
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Psychiatry Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Psychiatry; Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-361592 (URN)
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-10-24
4. Neuroticism is associated with higher antenatal care utilization in obstetric low-risk women
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neuroticism is associated with higher antenatal care utilization in obstetric low-risk women
Show others...
2019 (English)In: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-6349, E-ISSN 1600-0412, Vol. 98, no 4, p. 470-478Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction

Elevated neuroticism is associated with higher health care utilization in the general population. This study aimed to investigate the association between neuroticism and the use of publicly financed antenatal care in obstetric low‐risk women, taking predisposing and need factors for health care utilization into consideration.

Material and methods

Participants comprised 1052 obstetric low‐risk women (no chronic diseases or adverse pregnancy conditions) included in several obstetrics/gynecology studies in Uppsala, Sweden. Neuroticism was self‐rated on the Swedish universities Scales of Personality. Medical records of their first subsequent pregnancy were scanned for antenatal care use. Associations between antenatal care use and neuroticism were analyzed with logistic regression (binary outcomes) or negative binomial regression (count outcomes) comparing the 75th and 25th neuroticism percentiles. Depending on the Akaike information criterion the exposure was modeled as either linear or with restricted cubic splines. Analyses were adjusted for predisposing (sociodemographic and parity) and need factors (body mass index and psychiatric morbidity).

Results

After adjustment, women with higher neuroticism had more fetal ultrasounds (incidence rate ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02‐1.16), more emergency visits to an obstetrician/gynecologist (incidence rate ratio = 1.22, 95% CI 1.03‐1.45) and were more likely to visit a fear‐of‐childbirth clinic (odds ratio = 2.71, 95% CI 1.71‐4.29). Moreover, they more often consulted midwives in specialized antenatal care facilities (significant J‐shaped association).

Conclusions

Neuroticism was associated with higher utilization of publicly financed antenatal care in obstetric low‐risk women, even after adjusting for predisposing and need factors. Future studies should address the benefits of interventions as a complement to routine antenatal care programs to reduce subclinical anxiety.

Keywords
antenatal care, health care utilization, neuroticism, personality, pregnancy, prenatal care
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-364260 (URN)10.1111/aogs.13506 (DOI)000460954800008 ()30457176 (PubMedID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2007-1955Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, MMW2011.0115The Swedish Medical Association, SLS-250581Swedish Research Council, 521-2010-3293Swedish Research Council, K2008-54X-20642-01-3Swedish Society of MedicineStiftelsen Söderström - Königska sjukhemmetTore Nilsons Stiftelse för medicinsk forskning
Available from: 2018-10-24 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2019-04-15Bibliographically approved

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