Post-traumatic stress symptoms in mothers of very low birth weight infants 2-3 years post-partum

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2009 Aug;12(4):261-4. doi: 10.1007/s00737-009-0067-4. Epub 2009 Mar 26.


We examined symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mothers of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants 2-3 years post-partum, compared with mothers of term, normal weight infants. Mothers were asked to report current symptoms relating specifically to the birth of their infant using The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Mothers of VLBW infants recorded significantly higher levels of PTSD symptoms overall (median scores: VLBW 25 [range 2-82], versus controls: 0 [range 0-5], P < 0.001), and in all sub-categories (p < 0.001). These findings suggest that mothers of VLBW infants have a relatively high prevalence of symptoms of PTSD at 2-3 years postnatal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / psychology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postpartum Period
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Self-Assessment
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology