Pregnancy-related anxiety level and associated factors in expectant fathers: case-control study in Turkey
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Keywords

expectant fathers
pregnancy
anxiety
childbirth
statetrait anxiety inventory

How to Cite

KUŞ, C., SUCAKLI, M. H., KOŞAR, Y. and ÇELIK, M. (2023) “Pregnancy-related anxiety level and associated factors in expectant fathers: case-control study in Turkey: Anxiety Level in Expectant Fathers”, One Health & Risk Management , 4(1), pp. 65-74. doi: 10.38045/ohrm.2023.1.08.

Abstract

Introduction. In the prenatal period, fathers have a significant influence on the well-being of their children. Perinatal behavior and involvement of fathers during pregnancy are known to affect maternal health, fetal outcomes, and the emotions and behavior of the infant after birth. The aim of this study is to reveal the effects of pregnancy on the anxiety level of expectant fathers (EF) and the factors affecting the anxiety level.

Material and methods. This present paper is a case-control study conducted with the spouses of pregnant women who were followed up in healthcare institutions in Turkey between March and June 2016. This study was performed on 232 men with pregnant wives (expectant fathers) with no known chronic or psychiatric illnesses and 316 with non-pregnant wives. This study included men whose informed consent was obtained before being enrolled in the study. Two questionnaires (STAI forms (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory 1-2) and a questionnaire developed by the researcher) were applied to the participants.

Results. The mean age of EF was 33.7±6.0 (min=23, max=51). The mean age of men with non-pregnant wives (control group) was 36.5±7.1 (min=23, max=57). The frequency of anxiety in the EF was 9.9% for the STAI-1 and 10.7% for STAI-2. The frequency of anxiety in the control groups was 5.3% for the STAI-1 form and 2.5% for the STAI-2 form. In our study, the mean STAI-1 score of the EFs was 41.2±7.5, the mean STAI-1 score of the controls was 38.0±7.3, and there was a statistically significant difference between each other (p<0.001). The mean STAI-2 score of the EFs was 41.2±7.5, the mean STAI-2 score of the controls was 38.2±6.8, and there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups (p<0.001). The mean STAI-2 score of the EF group was 43.8±7.3 in the first trimester, 41.6±7.7 in the second trimester, and 39.6±7.0 in the third trimester. It was determined that spouses in the 1st trimester had higher anxiety levels than those in the second and third trimesters, according to the STAI-2 form (p=0.008). EF who had a postnatal babysitter, good sleep quality, did not experience a bad event, and were compatible with wives had a significantly lower level of anxiety (respectively p=0.008, p=0.019, p<0.001, p=0.01).

Conclusions. Particularly in first pregnancies and the first trimester of pregnancy, father candidates may experience anxiety disorders more frequently and intensely. EF may need psychological support during pregnancy. Physicians should evaluate the mother and the father-to-be from a psychological perspective.

https://doi.org/10.38045/ohrm.2023.1.08
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Copyright (c) 2023 Celal Kuş, Mustafa Haki Sucakli, Yasar Kosar, Mustafa Celik

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