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Psychological distress and self-rated health status in reproductive aged women with pain: findings from a national, cross-sectional survey


Miller, AM and Judd, F and Dargaville, PA and Neil, AL, Psychological distress and self-rated health status in reproductive aged women with pain: findings from a national, cross-sectional survey, BMC Women's Health, 19, (1) Article 62. ISSN 1472-6874 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/s12905-019-0757-7


Background: Pain impacts upon psychological wellbeing. In pregnant and postpartum women psychological distress may negatively affect the mother-infant relationship and lead to adverse infant development. Yet, co-occurrence of pain with psychological distress in women of reproductive age has not been investigated. Therefore, this study aimed to: 1) assess prevalence of psychological distress in reproductive aged women by pain severity; and 2) examine the self-rated health status of reproductive aged women with and without pain.

Method: Data for women aged 18-49 years were obtained from the 2011-12 Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey. Sample data were weighted to give population estimates. Recent pain severity, self-rated health and psychological distress were analysed for pregnant, breastfeeding and non-pregnant/non-breastfeeding women.

Results: Moderate-to-very severe pain was reported by 17.6% of pregnant (sample n = 165, weighted N = 191,856), 25.9% of breastfeeding (sample n = 210, weighted N = 234,601) and 23.9% of non-pregnant/non-breastfeeding women (sample n = 4005, weighted N = 4,607,140). Psychological distress was associated with pain in non-pregnant/non-breastfeeding women (p < 0.001). High-to-very high distress was seen in 26.4% (95% CI, 23.2-29.6) of NP/NBF, 8.1% (95% CI, 0-17.2) of breastfeeding and 7.3% (95% CI, 0-18.0) of pregnant women with moderate-to-very severe pain. Self-rated health status was associated with pain severity in pregnant (p = 0.001) and non-pregnant/non-breastfeeding (p < 0.001) women.

Conclusion: Given the strong association between psychological distress and pain in non-pregnant/non-breastfeeding women, and the relatively common occurrence of moderate-to-very severe pain in both pregnant and breastfeeding women, assessment of psychological distress levels in all women of reproductive age who report experiencing moderate-to-very severe levels of pain may be of benefit.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:breastfeeding, pain, pregnancy, psychological distress, reproductive age, women, trends, mental health, emergency department presentations, age
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Miller, AM (Ms April Miller)
UTAS Author:Judd, F (Professor Fiona Judd)
UTAS Author:Dargaville, PA (Professor Peter Dargaville)
UTAS Author:Neil, AL (Associate Professor Amanda Neil)
ID Code:133455
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-06-27
Last Modified:2020-08-12
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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