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Responding to maternal distress: from needs assessment to effective intervention

Fontein-Kuipers, Yvonne; van Limbeek, Evelien; Ausems, Marlein; de Vries, Raymond; Nieuwenhuijze, Marianne


Evelien van Limbeek

Marlein Ausems

Raymond de Vries

Marianne Nieuwenhuijze


Objectives To perform a needs assessment of maternal distress to plan the development of an intervention for the prevention and reduction of antenatal maternal distress.

Methods We searched PubMed, OVID and EBSCO and applied the PRECEDE logic model to select the data. Experts in the field validated the findings.

Results We identified 45 studies. Maternal distress was associated with diminished maternal and child’s quality of life. Aetiological factors of maternal distress included past and present circumstances related to obstetric factors and to a woman’s context of living, coping behaviour, and support mechanisms. Lacking knowledge of coping with (maternal) distress was identified as a predisposing factor. Reinforcing factors were relaxation, partner support, counselling
experiences and positive interaction with the midwife. Enabling factors were the availability of a support network.

Conclusions When planning the development of an antenatal intervention for maternal distress, it is advisable to focus on assessment of antenatal emotional wellbeing, the context of the woman’s past and present circumstances, her coping behaviour and her environment. The identified predisposing factors, enabling and reinforcing factors should also be taken into consideration.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2016
Publication Date 2017-05
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2022
Journal International Journal of Public Health
Print ISSN 1661-8556
Electronic ISSN 1661-8564
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 62
Issue 4
Pages 441-452
Keywords Maternal distress; Intervention mapping; PRECEDE; Pregnancy; Intervention; Health promotion
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