Health-related functional status in pregnancy: relationship to depression and social support in a multi-ethnic population

Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Jun;97(6):988-93. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(01)01377-1.


Objective: To describe perceived well-being and functional status during uncomplicated late pregnancy among low-income minority women, and to examine the relationship of functional status to depression and social support.

Methods: Hispanic and black women with low-risk pregnancies completed an interview consisting of demographics, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire.

Results: Of the 155 women who were eligible and asked to participate, 41 refused for a participation rate of 74%. Results of the SF-36 showed lowest perceived well-being in the vitality and physical role dimensions. Depressive symptomatology was high, with a mean BDI score of 15 (standard deviation 8.6). Using a BDI score of 14 as the cutoff point, over half of the sample was categorized as having significant depressive symptoms. Significantly lower functional status was seen for depressed subjects in all subscales of the SF-36 compared with nondepressed subjects. Although functional status was negatively correlated with BDI score in all dimensions (r =.23-.69), correlation of SF-36 scores with social support was much weaker (r =.06-.24).

Conclusion: Elevated levels of depressive symptomatology are strongly correlated with lowered health-related functioning and perceived well-being. Social support is not associated with increased physical or emotional well-being but is weakly associated with mental health as measured by the SF-36.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • Black People*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / ethnology*
  • Dominican Republic / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Jamaica / ethnology
  • Maternal Welfare / ethnology*
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / ethnology*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Puerto Rico / ethnology
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South America / ethnology
  • White People*