Journal of Research in Nursing and Midwifery (JRNM) (ISSN: 2315-568x) Vol. 2(7) pp. 96-103, September, 2013. DOI: http:/       
Copyright © 2013 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Effects of pregnancy related anxiety on labour outcomes: A prospective cohort study

1*Girija  Kalayil  Madhavanprabhakaran, 2K. A. Kumar, 3Shanthi Ramasubramaniam and 4Adenike Adepero Akintola

*1Head of Department, Maternal and Child Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Sultan Qaboos University,P. O Box 66, Alkhod, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

2Formerly Director and Head of School of Behavioural Sciences University Approved PhD Guide   Mahatma Gandhi University, South India, Kerala Formerly Director of Medical Ed University of Kerala, South India. T.C.13/ 598, Near Ulloor Bridge Thiruvananthapuram-695004.

3Shanthi Ramasubramaniam  RN, RM, MSN, PhD Scholar Lecturer, Maternal and Child Health Nursing College of Nursing, Sultan Qaboos University,P. O. Box 66, Alkhod, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

4Adenike Adepero Akintola, RN, RM, MSN Lecturer, Maternal and Child Health Nursing College of Nursing, Sultan Qaboos University, P. O. Box 66, Alkhod, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

Corresponding  author

Received August 12, 2013; Accepted September 13, 2013



Pregnancy-specific anxiety is a key predictor of unfavorable labour outcomes; very few studies have explored pregnancy-specific anxiety as opposed to general anxiety. To determine the prevalence of pregnancy-specific anxiety across the three trimesters of pregnancy and postnatal period and to relate anxiety with labour outcomes. With ethical approval, a prospective cohort study was conducted among 500 low risk pregnant women of 18-35 years, in Kerala-India from 2004 - 2005. Anxiety measured using State Trait Anxiety Inventory and Pregnancy-Specific Anxiety Inventory and labour outcomes noted. A U-pattern display of pregnancy specific anxiety was reported across trimesters of pregnancy with highest anxiety among nulliparous childbearing women (M=134.40). Unfavorable labour outcomes such as prolonged labour, preterm labour, low birth weight and unplanned caesarean sections were associated with high pregnancy - specific anxiety. The findings suggest that pregnancy anxiety is a core predictor of many adverse labour outcomes. A routine screening of pregnancy anxiety needs to be integrated into prenatal care. Specific interventions to minimize adverse labour outcomes could be a future research area.  

Keywords:  Prenatal Care; Anxiety; Depression; Pregnancy Outcome; Pregnancy anxiety