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Title: Associations of body dissatisfaction with anxiety and depression in the pregnancy and postpartum periods: A longitudinal study
Author(s): Chan, Ayu Chui Yi 
Author(s): Lee, A. M.
Koh, Y. W.
Lam, S. K.
Lee, C. P.
Leung, K. Y.
Tang, C. S. K.
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: International Society for Affective Disorders
Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders 
Volume: 263
Start page: 582
End page: 592
Pregnancy is a time of increasing vulnerability to the development of body dissatisfaction, anxiety, and depression. The present study aims to examine associations of body dissatisfaction with anxiety and depression at the following points: 6 months before pregnancy (retrospective report); in the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy; and up to 6 weeks postpartum.

A prospective longitudinal design with a quantitative approach was adopted. A consecutive sample of 1,371 Chinese pregnant women in Hong Kong was assessed using standardized instruments at four time points.

A mixed-effects model with repeated measures revealed that body dissatisfaction and depression symptoms changed across different stages of pregnancy. Hierarchical multiple regressions showed that, after adjusting for the identified risk factors, body dissatisfaction before and during pregnancy were positively associated with antenatal anxiety and depression symptoms. Concurrent body dissatisfaction was positively associated with postpartum depression symptoms.

There was a high attrition rate in the follow-up assessments. Antenatal anxiety symptoms were assessed using the scale for general anxiety, which may not adequately capture the experience of anxiety among pregnant women.

Primary healthcare practitioners should be made aware of body dissatisfaction among pregnant women in order to facilitate early intervention for anxiety and depression, because untreated psychological disturbance during pregnancy may persist into the postpartum period.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.032
CIHE Affiliated Publication: Yes
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