Multidimensional Psychological Stress During Pregnancies in Women Who Conceived via In Vitro Fertilization.
To explore relationships among the 3 psychological dimensions of stress, stimulus/environmental, perceptual, and emotional response, and then to develop a multidimensional composite measure of overall stress, and to determine demographic and clinical characteristics associated with stress in women who became pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Cross-sectional design using self-report questionnaires during the second trimester. Multidimensional stress was assessed with the Prenatal Life Events Scale, Life Event Distress Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Index-State, and the Pregnancy-Related Anxiety Measure.
Participants (n = 144), aged 25-40 years, were enrolled June 2010-August 2011 from a private fertility clinic. Exploratory principal factor analysis was used to develop an overall stress score from the stress measures. Multiple stepwise regression analyses were conducted to determine characteristics related to the stress measures. White race tended to be associated with lower stress scores (p = .079). White participants also had lower perceived stress (p = .007), and those with a history of miscarriage had higher pregnancy-related anxiety (p = .035).
White women had lower perceived stress. History of one or more miscarriage was associated with higher pregnancy-related anxiety. Additional research examining multidimensional stress is needed across the pregnancy trimesters as well as comparisons to women who conceived without IVF both in United States and internationally.
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