DOI: 10.1177/10547738241230125 ISSN: 1054-7738

The Relationships Between Multidimensional Symptom Burden, Adaptation, and Depression During Pregnancy: A Cross-sectional Study

Wan-Ru Wu, Li-Chun Lee, Chin-Hsing Tsai, Pen-Hsin Hou
  • General Nursing

Prenatal depression is highly prevalent, but its relationship with the multidimensional burden of physical symptoms during pregnancy remains underexplored. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between pregnancy-related physical symptom burden, including frequency, severity, and impact on life and pregnancy adaptation to prenatal depression, and to identify predictors of depression during pregnancy. The study was cross-sectional in design. A hospital-based setting providing comprehensive maternity care services from outpatient to inpatient. The sample consisted of two hundred forty-three pregnant individuals aged 20 and above with no major obstetrical complications. Structured questionnaires including demographic and obstetrical characteristics, depression, symptom burden, and pregnancy adaptation were used for data collection. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to identify significant predictors of depression. The study revealed that approximately 32% of the variance in depression scores could be explained by the combined effects of pregnancy-related physical symptom burden and pregnancy adaptation. Specifically, low-level pregnancy adaptation, high-level symptom impact on life, unmarried status, and mid-level symptom severity were identified as the main predictors of prenatal depression among low-risk pregnant individuals. The findings contribute to the existing knowledge base, emphasizing the significance of addressing and managing pregnancy-related physical symptom burden while promoting effective adaptation to pregnancy as a means to mitigate the risk of prenatal depression.

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