Volume 6, Issue 1 (Winter 2020)                   JCCNC 2020, 6(1): 43-54 | Back to browse issues page


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Mirmolaei S T, Khalili F, Besharat M A, Kazemnejad A. The Effect of Narrative Writing on Depression, Anxiety, and Stress of Pregnant Women. JCCNC. 2020; 6 (1) :43-54
URL: http://jccnc.iums.ac.ir/article-1-255-en.html
1- Department of Midwifery & Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Midwifery & Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. , f_khalili@alumnus.tums.ac.ir
3- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
4- Department of Biostatis, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (550 Views)
Background: Pregnancy is considered a period of emotional crisis. However, attention to the mental status of a pregnant mother is often neglected by health care providers. This study was conducted to determine the effect of narrative writing on the depression, anxiety, and stress of pregnant women referring to the pregnancy care clinics in the south health centers affiliated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran.
Methods: The research was a quasi-experimental field trial. A total of 120 eligible pregnant women referring to the south health centers of Tehran University of Medical Sciences were recruited by convenience sampling method. The health records of pregnant women were assessed at each center and the eligible subjects were identified. The sampling was performed during one week for the experimental group and during the next week for the control group. Mothers in the experimental group were asked to write a narrative about their deep thoughts and feelings, twice a week for two months according to the given instructions. The mothers in the control group received routine care. At first, both groups completed the Beck depression inventory and depression, anxiety, and stress scale 21 before the intervention. Then, at 4 and 8 weeks after the intervention, both groups just completed depression, anxiety, and stress scale 21. The obtained data were analyzed by the Mann-Whitney test, Chi-squared test, two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and repeated measures ANOVA in SPSS V. 22. The significance level was set as 0.5 or less.
Results: Pre-intervention levels of anxiety, stress, and depression were similar in both groups. Four weeks after the intervention, the variables of depression (P=0.014) and anxiety (P=0.004) were significantly reduced in the experimental group, but no statistically significant difference was found for the stress variable in this time interval. Finally, a significant decrease was observed in all three variables as the intervention continued for 8 weeks (P<0.001).
Conclusion: According to the results, the narrative writing could be used as a simple and low-cost method for reducing anxiety, stress, and depression in pregnant women.
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● Pregnancy is associated with many psychological changes.
● Writing is one of the simple methods which reduces stress, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy. 
● Expressive writing is an effective way to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy.
● Management of stress, anxiety, and depression of mothers is part of midwifery care.
● Midwives can recommend this simple and inexpensive method to pregnant women and provide them with better mental health.
Plain Language Summary 
Pregnancy is associated with many psychological changes. Pregnant women may experience varying degrees of stress, anxiety, and depression. Lack of attention and disregard for these conditions is associated with adverse effects on the mother and fetus. Simple and non-pharmacological methods during pregnancy have drawn a lot of attention due to the lack of complications. Writing emotions on paper is a method that has been studied in various groups and is associated with positive results. In the present study, writing emotions on paper reduced stress, anxiety, and depression in pregnant women.
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2019/06/4 | Accepted: 2019/11/25 | Published: 2020/02/1

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