Post-traumatic stress symptoms in mothers of very low birth weight infants 2-3 years post-partum

Susanne Åhlund, Paul Clarke, Julia Hill, Nandu K. S. Thalange

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We examined symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mothers of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants 2-3 years post-partum, compared with mothers of term, normal weight infants. Mothers were asked to report current symptoms relating specifically to the birth of their infant using The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Mothers of VLBW infants recorded significantly higher levels of PTSD symptoms overall (median scores: VLBW 25 [range 2-82], versus controls: 0 [range 0-5], P∈<∈0.001), and in all sub-categories (p∈<∈0.001). These findings suggest that mothers of VLBW infants have a relatively high prevalence of symptoms of PTSD at 2-3 years postnatal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-264
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extremely low birth weight (ELBW)
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Post-traumatic growth

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