Emotional Distress and its Correlates among Nigerian Women in Late Pregnancy
A cross-sectional study was carried out in a Teaching Hospital to compare women in late pregnancy and matched controls for emotional distress. Each of the 156 pregnant women was matched with a control and studied to determine the relationship of some obstetric and socio-demographic factors with anxiety and depression. All the subjects were evaluated using the state form of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-state) and the Zung's Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), which are standardised instruments for assessing depression and anxiety respectively. The pregnant women had significantly higher levels of anxiety and higher levels of depression than their non-pregnant controls. Four of the factors evaluated (age, level of education, socio-economic status and parity) were not found to be significantly related to anxiety or depression among the pregnant women. However, four other factors, i.e. polygamy, previous abortions, mode of previous delivery (caesarean section and instrumentally-assisted delivery) and previous puerperal complications had positive and significant associations with anxiety and depression. The implications of these findings are discussed.