Depression, anxiety, stress and hyperemesis gravidarum: temporal and case controlled correlates

Peng Chiong Tan, Syeda Nureena Zaidi, Noor Azmi, Siti Zawiah Omar, Su Yen Khong
PloS One 2014, 9 (3): e92036

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the temporal and case-controlled correlations of anxiety, depression and stress with hyperemesis gravidarum.

STUDY DESIGN: We performed a longitudinal cohort study of women with hyperemesis gravidarum using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) to evaluate psychological distress at hospitalization and in the third trimester of pregnancy (from 28 weeks gestation). Third pregnancy trimester controls were recruited from routine antenatal clinic attendees who were matched to gestational age at the second DASS-21 assessment in the HG cohort.

RESULTS: The prevalences of nausea and vomiting, depression, anxiety and stress caseness in newly hospitalised hyperemesis gravidarum women were 100% and 100%, 19%, 69% and 21% which by the third trimester had fallen to 15.7% and 9.9%, 4%, 19% and 3% and in third trimester controls were 15.9% and 14.2%, 14%, 61% and 20% respectively. Within the hyperemesis gravidarum cohort, nausea, vomiting depression, anxiety and stress reduced significantly by an absolute 84.3% (95% CI 76.2%-89.8%), 90.1% (82.8%-94.2%), 14.9% (7.2%-23.0%), 49.6% (38.6%-58.7%) and 18.2% (10.4%-26.4%) respectively between hospitalization for hyperemesis gravidarum and at the third trimester. In the third trimester, when comparing the hyperemesis gravidarum cohort to controls, the risk of nausea or vomiting was similar but depression, anxiety and stress were significantly lower: adjusted odds ratio AOR 0.10 (95% CI 0.03-0.5), 0.11 (0.05-0.23) and 0.08 (0.02-0.33) respectively.

CONCLUSION: Our study revealed a reassuring pattern of a strong rebound from depression, anxiety and stress in women with hyperemesis gravidarum such that by the third pregnancy trimester the level of psychological distress was even lower than in controls. This observation imply that much of the psychological distress in acute hyperemesis gravidarum is self-limiting and probably in the causal pathway of hyperemesis gravidarum. Care in women with hyperemesis gravidarum should focus on the relief of nausea and vomiting.

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