Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Following Preeclampsia and PPROM: A Prospective Study With 15 Months Follow-Up

C.A. Stramrood, I. Wessel, B. Doornbos, J.G. Aarnoudse, Paul van den Berg, W.C. Weijmar Schultz, M.G. van Pampus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: A prospective longitudinal evaluation of the prevalence of and risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women with preeclampsia (PE) or preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) compared to uncomplicated pregnancies. Methods: Participating women completed PTSD and depression questionnaires during pregnancy, 6 weeks, and 15 months postpartum. Data regarding psychiatric history and indices of obstetric care were collected from patient charts. Results: We included 57 PE, 53 PPROM, and 65 healthy pregnant women, of whom 137 also participated in the 15-month follow-up (PE 70%, PPROM 48%, and controls 95%; P <.001). At 6 weeks postpartum, the prevalence of PTSD, but not depression, following childbirth was significantly higher in patients than in controls (14% vs 3%; P = .023). A history of depression, depressive symptoms during pregnancy, and infant death were significantly associated with symptoms of postpartum PTSD. The maternal condition seems to be of less decisive value, as there was no difference between the prevalence of PTSD after PE and PPROM (11% vs 17%; P = .324). At 15 months postpartum, 11% of women with PE had PTSD, some of which did not have PTSD 6 weeks postpartum. The low response rate in the PPROM group at 15 months postpartum does not allow for definite conclusions. Conclusion: Pregnancies complicated by PE or PPROM are associated with PTSD in a substantial number of women. Especially women with proven vulnerability for psychological problems are at risk of developing PTSD postpartum, as are women whose children died in the perinatal period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-653
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2011

Cite this