Researchers at Brown University have just published a study in Quality of Life Research detailing changes in quality of life and sleep during the perinatal period among perinatal women with mood disorders. The study was led by Dr. Augustine Kang, a research fellow in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the School of Public Health.
The authors recruited pregnant women, aged 18-40, who reported having sleep problems and were diagnosed with a depressive or anxiety disorder. After screening, twenty-three women were included for long-term follow-up. Three outcome measures were collected; quality of life, objectively-measured sleep, and mood.
They found that higher education was associated with higher quality of life during the third trimester (but not postpartum), and that having other older children (i.e. multiparity) was associated with lower quality of life postpartum. Across the perinatal period, psychological health and aspects of sleep quality declined from the third trimester to six weeks postpartum – however, they were not found to be associated with changes in quality of life.
“Our study was the first to examine these variables among an understudied population and raises several important points for future research to note. Quality of life across the perinatal period was worse than population norms, underscoring that pregnancy is not a protective, but a risk factor to pregnant women’s quality of life. Further research with larger sample sizes are needed to more comprehensively explore the relationships between quality of life and sleep among this population” says Dr. Augustine Kang, lead author on the study.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 14