Posttraumatic stress disorder after childbirth: a cross sectional study

J Anxiety Disord. Nov-Dec 1997;11(6):587-97. doi: 10.1016/s0887-6185(97)00041-8.


The prevalence of having a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) profile after childbirth and women's cognitive appraisal of the childbirth were studied cross sectionally in an unselected sample of all women who had given birth over a 1-year period in Linköping, Sweden. The PTSD profile was assessed by means of Traumatic Event Scale (TES), which is based on diagnostic criteria from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994). The women's cognitive appraisal of the childbirth was measured by means of the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire (W-DEQ). Twenty-eight women (1.7%) of 1640 met criteria for a PTSD profile related to the recent delivery. A PTSD profile was related to a history of having received psychiatric/psychological counseling, a negative cognitive appraisal of the past delivery, nulliparity, and rating the contact with delivery staff in negative terms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cognition
  • Counseling
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric / psychology
  • Life Change Events
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Puerperal Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Puerperal Disorders / epidemiology
  • Puerperal Disorders / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology