Depression and anxiety trajectories among women who undergo an elective cesarean section

Shu Yu Kuo, Su Ru Chen, Ya Ling Tzeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Depression and anxiety are important mood changes in childbearing women. However, changes in depression and anxiety over time in women who undergo an elective cesarean section (CS) have not yet been elucidated. We aimed to characterize the trajectories of depressive and anxiety symptoms, and patterns of co-occurrence, and examined the associated predictors of depression and anxiety courses. Methods: A prospective longitudinal study of childbearing women (N = 139) who underwent a CS was conducted. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were respectively assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and State Anxiety Inventory, in the third trimester and at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 and 6 months postpartum. Results: Group-based modeling identified three distinct trajectories of depressive symptoms: group 1 (low, 30.9%), group 2 (mild, 41.7%), and group 3 (high, 27.3%). Four group trajectories of anxiety symptoms were identified: group 1 (low, 19.4%), group 2 (mild, 44.6%), group 3 (high, 28.8%), and group 4 (very high, 7.2%). Mild symptoms of both depression and anxiety were the most common joint trajectory. Depression trajectories were significantly related to anxiety trajectories (p<0.001). Predictors of the joint trajectory included the pre-pregnant body mass index (odds ratio (OR): 2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1∼6.3) and a poor sleep score (OR: 3.2, 95% CI: 1.4∼7.3) in the third trimester. Conclusions: Distinctive trajectories and co-occurrence patterns of depressive and anxiety symptoms were identified. Our findings suggest a need for greater attention to continuous assessment of psychological well-being among women who undergo an elective CS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86653
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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