Objectives To assess the associations of perceived financial satisfaction and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and depressive symptoms in an unselected pregnant population in early pregnancy. Methods 750 consecutive pregnant women attending the first communal ultrasound examination before gestational week 14 were invited to participate. Questionnaires assessing HRQoL (15D), depressive symptoms (Edinburgh Depression Scale, EPDS), medical, obstetric, and socioeconomic status were handed out. The participants were divided into three groups according to their satisfaction with their financial status, (unsatisfied, somewhat satisfied, and satisfied). Main outcome measures were 15D and EPDS-scores and dimensions of HRQoL. Results 325 (43,3%) questionnaires were returned. The mean 15D-score for HRQoL was 0,926 (SD 0,056). The financially unsatisfied women had lower HRQoL than women in more satisfied groups (0.906, 0.923 and 0.931, p = 0.012). The result remained significant, even after adjusting for age and education(p = 0.032). The unsatisfied women had a higher mean body mass index (BMI) (25.4, 24.4 and 23.2 kg/m2, p for linearity = 0.002), were more often smokers, (13 vs. 4 and 3%, p = 0.029), and had experienced at least one abortion (18, 14 and 7%, p = 0.017). Dimensions of depression, distress and sleep explained the differences between the groups. 27% of unsatisfied women scored EPDS ≥10 points suggesting increased risk of depression. Conclusions Financial satisfaction in early pregnancy associates with HRQoL and risk of perinatal depressive symptoms. Unsatisfied women more often have risk factors for unfavourable pregnancy outcomes which may influence the later health and wellbeing of the mother and child.
Keywords: Depressive symptoms; Financial satisfaction; HRQoL; Pregnancy.