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Title: Parental psychological distress and quality of life after a pre- or postnatal diagnosis of congenital anomaly: A controlled comparison study with parents of healthy babies.
Authors: Fonseca, Ana 
Nazaré, Bárbara 
Canavarro, Maria Cristina 
Keywords: Congenital Anomaly; Psychological Distress; Quality of Life; Prenatal Diagnosis; Postnatal Diagnosis
Issue Date: 2012
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/SFRH/SFRH/BD/47053/2008/PT 
Serial title, monograph or event: Disability and Health Journal
Issue: 5
Abstract: Background: Parental early adjustment to a pre- or postnatal diagnosis of congenital anomaly has been studied mainly within a pathological and deterministic perspective, giving us an inadequate view of the impact of the diagnosis. Objectives: Adopting a comprehensive approach on parental adjustment, we aimed to characterise the impact of the diagnosis on psychological distress and quality of life, in the early post-diagnosis stage. The effects of gender and the timing of the diagnosis were also examined. Methods: In this cross-section study, 42 couples with healthy babies and 42 couples whose babies were pre- or postnatally diagnosed with a congenital anomaly responded to the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 and to the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref instrument. Results: In the early post-diagnosis stage, parents whose babies were diagnosed with a congenital anomaly presented higher levels of psychological distress than the parents of healthy babies (F2,79= 6.23, p = .003), although they displayed similar levels of quality of life (F4,78= 0.62, p = .647). Mothers reported more adjustment difficulties than fathers in both groups. Receiving the diagnosis in the prenatal period was associated with higher maternal psychological quality of life (Z= -2.00, p = .045). Conclusion: The occurrence of a diagnosis of congenital anomaly during the transition to parenthood adds to an accumulation of stress-inducing events and manifests itself in psychopathological symptoms. Maintaining a positive evaluation of well-being may be understood as a parental resource to deal with the diagnosis. The importance of adopting a comprehensive perspective on parental adjustment is highlighted.
DOI: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2011.11.001
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FPCEUC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
I&D CINEICC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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