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Do Women with Epilepsy Have More Fear of Childbirth During Pregnancy Compared with Women without Epilepsy? A Case-Control Study

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Background: Although anxiety and depression in populations with epilepsy have been studied, no research on fear of childbirth in women with epilepsy have been conducted. The purposes of this study were to examine whether a significant difference occurred in fear of childbirth between pregnant women with epilepsy and pregnant healthy controls and to evaluate the most common fears. Methods: Fifty pregnant women with epilepsy and 50 pregnant women without epilepsy were assessed at a gestational age between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, using two questionnaires for the measurement of fear of childbirth, an open question, and a clinical interview. Results: We found that during pregnancy, women with epilepsy experienced a significantly higher rate of fear of childbirth when compared with healthy controls, whereas after delivery, the experiences and feelings about childbirth are almost the same as those of women without epilepsy. Conclusions: Our findings signify the importance of the assessment of the fear of childbirth, especially in women with epilepsy, and the need to offer professional and ad hoc support to those who suffer from it. (BIRTH 35:2 June 2008)
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Keywords: epilepsy; fear of childbirth; postpartum; pregnancy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Katherine Turner and Ada Piazzini are Clinical Psychologists 2: Albertina Franza is a Neurologist 3: Raffaele Canger is an Associate Professor and Head 4: Maria Paola Canevini is an Associate Professor at the Epilepsy Center 5: Anna Maria Marconi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, DMSD, St. Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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