Relationships between nausea and vomiting, perceived stress, social support, pregnancy planning, and psychosocial adaptation in a sample of mothers: a questionnaire survey

Int J Nurs Stud. 2008 Aug;45(8):1185-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2007.08.004. Epub 2007 Oct 1.


Background: Women worldwide experience pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting yet tolerate this significant prenatal stressor. The physical and emotional stress caused by pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting may influence maternal psychosocial adaptation yet few studies have examined these relationships.

Objectives: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships between nausea and vomiting, perceived stress, social support and their ability to predict maternal psychosocial adaptation among Taiwanese women during early pregnancy.

Design: A correlational, cross-sectional research design.

Setting: Four prenatal clinics in Taiwan.

Participants: Women (n=243) who had completed the 6-16 week of gestation consented to participate.

Methods: Subjects completed four self-report questionnaires in additional to providing demographic data: Index of Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching (INVR), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL), and the Prenatal Self-Evaluation Questionnaire (PSEQ).

Results: Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting was experienced in varying degrees by 188 (77.4%) women. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that 37.6% of the variance in maternal psychosocial adaptation was explained by the severity of nausea and vomiting, perceived stress, social support, and pregnancy planning.

Conclusions: Women at higher risk for poor maternal psychosocial adaptation have not planned their pregnancy and experience severe pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Severe pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting associated with high-perceived stress levels may be mediated by social support.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nausea / prevention & control
  • Nausea / psychology*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan
  • Vomiting / prevention & control
  • Vomiting / psychology*