Scientific article

Posttraumatic stress symptoms and cortisol regulation in mothers of very preterm infants

Published inStress and health, vol. 30, no. 2, p. 134-141
Publication date2014

Previous studies have found that mothers of very preterm infants often report symptoms of posttraumatic stress, which has been related to cortisol dysregulation. However, the exact nature of this association is not clear and can be different regarding the predominance of some specific symptoms of posttraumatic stress, as suggested by a recent model. The objective of the present study is to assess the association between diurnal salivary cortisol and posttraumatic stress symptoms in mothers of very preterm infants. Seventy-four mothers of very preterm infants were included in the study. Mothers' cortisol regulation and posttraumatic stress symptoms were evaluated 12 months after child theoretical term (40 weeks of gestation). Results showed an association between higher re-experiencing symptoms and flatter cortisol slopes. These results may help to understand differences found in studies assessing the relation between severity of posttraumatic stress and cortisol levels, by supporting the symptoms' theory.

  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm/physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone/metabolism
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System/physiopathology
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal/psychology
  • Linear Models
  • Mental Recall/physiology
  • Mother-Child Relations/psychology
  • Mothers/psychology
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System/physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth/psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Saliva/chemistry
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/metabolism/physiopathology/psychology
Citation (ISO format)
HABERSAAT, Stephanie et al. Posttraumatic stress symptoms and cortisol regulation in mothers of very preterm infants. In: Stress and health, 2014, vol. 30, n° 2, p. 134–141. doi: 10.1002/smi.2503
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1532-3005

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