Background: Women with diabetes experience an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Aim: We aim to describe and quantify the psychological impact of the diagnosis of diabetes in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) compared to each other and to their counterparts without diabetes.
Design: This is a survey-based study with prospective collection of pregnancy outcome data.
Methods: A total of 218 pregnant women (50% with diabetes) were administered questionnaires relating to psychological health. Maternal and neonatal characteristics and pregnancy outcomes were collected. Associations between key psychometric and health outcome variables were examined.
Results: At least 25% of women in all three pregnancy groups had scores indicating affective distress in at least one domain. Compared to those with type 1 diabetes, women with GDM evidenced a greater number of uplifts in pregnancy (U = 94, P = 0.041), but also higher levels of overall anxiety (U = 92, P = 0.03) and stress (U = 82, P < 0.01). Women with GDM also had significantly elevated overall depression scores, compared with the control group (U = 34, P = 0.02). Both groups of women with diabetes had clinically elevated levels of diabetes-related distress. There were no associations between maternal psychological variables and pregnancy outcomes.
Conclusions: This work highlights a potential role for targeted psychological interventions to address and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression among pregnant women with diabetes.
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