Scientific article
Open access

Post-traumatic stress disorder in parturients delivering by caesarean section and the implication of anaesthesia: a prospective cohort study

Published inHealth and quality of life outcomes, vol. 15, no. 1, 118
Publication date2017-06-02
First online date2017-06-02

Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in 1-7% of women following childbirth. While having a caesarean section (C-section) is known to be a significant risk factor for postpartum PTSD, it is currently unknown whether coexisting anaesthesia-related factors are also associated to the disorder. The aim of this study was to assess anaesthesia-linked factors in the development of acute postpartum PTSD.

Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study on women having a C-section in a tertiary hospital in Switzerland. Patients were followed up six weeks postpartum. Patient and procedure characteristics, past morbidity or traumatic events, psychosocial status and stressful perinatal events were measured. Outcome was divided into two categories: full PTSD disease and PTSD profile. This was based on the number of DSM-IV criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition (DSM-IV) present. The PTSD Checklist Scale and the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale were used for measurement.

Results: Of the 280 patients included, 217 (77.5%) answered the questionnaires and 175 (62.5%) answered to an additional phone interview. Twenty (9.2%) had a PTSD profile and six (2.7%) a PTSD. When a full predictive model of risk factors for PTSD profile was built using logistic regression, maternal prepartum and intrapartum complications, anaesthetic complications and dissociative experiences during C-section were found to be the significant predictors for PTSD profile.

Conclusion: This is the first study to show in parturients having a C-section that an anaesthesia complication is an independent risk factor for postpartum PTSD and PTSD profile development, in addition to known perinatal and maternal risk factors.

  • Anaesthesia
  • Caesarean section
  • Post-partum post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Risk factors
  • University Hospital of Geneva - [09-022]
Citation (ISO format)
GUERRA-LOPEZ, Ursula et al. Post-traumatic stress disorder in parturients delivering by caesarean section and the implication of anaesthesia: a prospective cohort study. In: Health and quality of life outcomes, 2017, vol. 15, n° 1, p. 118. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0692-y
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1477-7525

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