Prevalence and factors related to psychiatric symptoms in low risk pregnancy

Mahbobeh Faramarzi, Farzan Kheirkhah, Shahnaz Barat, Pim Cuijpers, Elizabeth O'Connor, Reza Ghadimi, Karimollah Hajian-Tilaki, Zeynab Pahlavan, Angela Hamidia, Seyyedeh Mahboubeh Mirtabar, Mahtab Zeinalzadeh, Zahra Basirat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Psychiatric disorders are associated with poor pregnancy outcomes both for mother and child. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and related demographic risk factors of psychiatric symptoms among the pregnant women in Babol City. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in five private and public obstetrics clinics of Babol city. During routine appointments of prenatal care, 176 pregnant women filled in three questionnaires including; sociodemographic questionnaire, Edinburg Prenatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and Symptom Checklist-25 (SCL-25). Wilcoxon test, Spearman correlation, and multivariate logistic regression tests were used to interpret the data. Results: The prevalence of depressive disorders was 15.4%% for Edinburg scores =13. The overall rate of maternal psychiatric symptoms (global severity index or GSI scores = 1.75) was 48.5%. The prevalence of psychiatric symptoms was high; for 25% somatization, 258% anxiety, obsession-compulsion disorders or OCD 6.4%, 8.8% interpersonal sensitivity, 5.3% phobia, 7.6% paranoid ideation, and 1.2% psychoticism. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that pregnant women with history of abortion in previous pregnancy were at risk of depressive symptoms more (β=3.18, CI 1.28-7.93, p=0.01) than those without history of abortion. Also, the only demographic factor related to psychiatric symptoms was the age of pregnant women; younger age was associated with higher symptom levels for GSI ((r=-0.17). Conclusion: The high prevalence of psychiatric symptoms, especially depressive symptoms, in pregnant women highlights the need for continued research on screening, identifying the risk factors, and developing effective treatments for mental disorders in pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalCaspian Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Maternal distress
  • Mental disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychiatric


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