The impact of resilience on psychological outcomes in women with threatened premature labor and spouses: a cross-sectional study in Southwest China

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2017 Jan 31;15(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0603-2.


Background: Threatened premature labor (TPL) is a severe obstetric complication which affects the mental and physical health of both the mother and fetus. Family resilience may have protective role against psychological distress in women experiencing these pregnancy complications. There may be resilience related risk factors in TPL women, and interplays may exist among psychological variables and within couples. This study aims to examine psychological outcomes influenced by different levels of resilience, and explore psychological interactions in TPL women, spouses, and between women and spouses.

Methods: Six validated questionnaires were used to measure the psychological outcomes (Connor-Davidson resilience scale CD-RISC, Edinburgh postnatal depression scale EPDS, positive and negative affect scale PANAS, pregnancy pressure scale PPS, simplified coping style questionnaire SCSQ, social support rating scale SSRS) in 126 TPL women hospitalized in three tertiary hospitals and 104 spouses in Southwest China.

Results: Low resilient women had significantly more complicated placenta praevia, longer pediatric observation, more pressure than high resilient women. They also had significantly less active coping and positive affect, more negative affect and depression compared to high resilient women and their spouses. Although the socio-demographic characteristics of both TPL women and spouses and psychometric parameters of spouses had no significant differences, the prevalence rates of depression in spouses were notable. Compared with spouses, TPL women had a more complex interaction among these psychometric factors, with women's resilience negatively associated with their partners' negative affect, and their pressure positively correlated with pressure and negative affect of spouses.

Conclusions: Pregnancy complicated with placenta praevia and pediatric observation may be risk factors for resilience of women with TPL. Maternal resilience has an important impact on the psychological outcomes in TPL women. A screening for resilience, depression and other psychological outcomes in couples with TPL and early psychological intervention of low resilient couples may be appropriate to promote resilience and well-being of these families.

Keywords: Depression; Family resilience; Psychological outcomes; Threatened premature labor.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • China
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prenatal Care
  • Quality of Life*
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires