Prevalence and Correlates of Posttraumatic Stress and Postpartum Depression in Parents of Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
- 3.2k Downloads
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and correlates of acute stress disorder (ASD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mothers and fathers, and postpartum depression (PPD) in mothers, of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 86 mothers and 41 fathers completed measures of ASD and of parent perception of infant medical severity 3–5 days after the infant’s NICU admission (T1), and measures of PTSD and PPD 30 days later (T2). 35% of mothers and 24% of fathers met ASD diagnostic criteria at T1, and 15% of mothers and 8% of fathers met PTSD diagnostic criteria at T2. PTSD symptom severity was correlated with concurrent stressors and family history of anxiety and depression. Rates of ASD/PTSD in parents of hospitalized infants are consistent with rates in other acute illness and injury populations, suggesting relevance of traumatic stress in characterizing parent experience during and after the NICU.
KeywordsPosttraumatic stress Postpartum depression Neonatal intensive care Infants Psychosocial screening
We are grateful to Anne Kazak, PhD, ABPP for her thoughtful comments on this manuscript and to Hannah Roggenkamp, BS, for her assistance with participant recruitment. This research was supported by a grant from the Ethel Brown Foerderer Fund for Excellence at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Bronner, M. B., Kayser, A., Knoester, H., Bos, A. P., Last, B. F., & Grootenhuis, M. A. (2009). A pilot study on peritraumatic dissociation and coping styles as risk factors for posttraumatic stress, anxiety and depression in parents after their child’s unexpected admission to a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 3, 33.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bronner, M. B., Peek, N., Knoester, H., Bos, A. P., Last, B. F., & Grootenhuis, M. A. (2010). Course and predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder in parents after pediatric intensive care treatment of their child. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Advance Access, 1–10.Google Scholar
- Kazak, A., Schneider, S., & Kassam-Adams, N. (2009). Pediatric medical traumatic stress. In M. Roberts & R. Steele (Eds.), Handbook of pediatric psychology (4th ed., pp. 205–215). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Manne, S. L., Du Hamel, K., Gallelli, K., Sorgen, K., & Redd, W. H. (1998). Posttraumatic stress disorder among mothers of pediatric cancer survivors: Diagnosis, comorbidity, and utility of the PTSD checklist as a screening instrument. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 23, 357–366.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Veddovi, M., Kenny, D., Gibson, F., Bowen, J., & Starte, D. (2001). The relationship between depressive symptoms following premature birth, mothers’ coping style, and knowledge of infant development. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 19, 313–323.Google Scholar
- Weathers, F., & Ford, J. (1996). Psychometric properties of the PTSD Checklist (PCL-C, PCL-S, PCL-M, PCL-PR). In B. H. Stamm (Ed.), Measurement of stress, trauma, and adaptation. Lutherville, MD: Sidran Press.Google Scholar