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Maternal anxiety and its correlation with pain experience during chorion villus sampling and amniocentesis

Authors Klages K, Kundu S, Erlenwein J, Elsaesser M, Hillemanns P, Scharf A, Staboulidou I

Received 21 November 2016

Accepted for publication 16 January 2017

Published 13 March 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 591—600


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael E Schatman

Katharina Klages,1,2 Sudip Kundu,1 Joachim Erlenwein,3 Michael Elsaesser,4 Peter Hillemanns,1 Alexander Scharf,4 Ismini Staboulidou1

1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Hanover Medical School, Hanover, 2Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Diakovere Friederikenstift Hanover, Hanover, 3Department of Anesthesiology, University of Goettingen, Pain Clinic, Goettingen, 4Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Purpose: Invasive prenatal diagnostic procedures, such as chorion villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis (AC), are routinely performed to exclude or diagnose fetal chromosomal abnormalities. The aim of this study was to investigate anxiety-dependent pain experience during CVS and AC and the potential factors that increase anxiety and pain levels.
Patients and methods: During a 2-year period, women undergoing invasive procedures in three specialist centers were asked to participate in the study. Anxiety was evaluated before the procedure using the Spielberger State-Trait-Anxiety-Inventory, and pain was evaluated directly after the procedure using a verbal rating scale.
Results: Among the women, 348/480 (73%) underwent AC, while 131/480 (27%) underwent CVS. There was a significant correlation between state and trait anxiety (p<0.0001). A positive correlation existed between the degree of anxiety and the level of pain experienced (p=0.01). There was a positive correlation for trait anxiety (p=0.0283) as well as for state anxiety (p=0.0001) and pain perception (p=0.0061) when invasive procedure was performed owing to abnormal ultrasound finding or to a history of fetal aneuploidy. Maternal age was found to be another influencing factor for the experienced pain (p=0.0016). Furthermore, the analysis showed a significant negative correlation between maternal age and anxiety. That applies for trait anxiety (p=0.0001) as well as for state anxiety (p=0.0001). The older the woman, the less anxious the reported feeling was in both groups. The main indication for undergoing CVS was abnormal ultrasound results (45%), and the main reason for undergoing AC was maternal age (58%).
Conclusion: Procedure-related pain intensity is highly dependent on the degree of anxiety before the invasive procedure. In addition, the indication has a significant impact on the emerging anxiety and consequential pain experiences. These influencing factors should therefore be considered during counseling and performance.

Keywords: invasive prenatal procedure, chorion villus sampling, amniocentesis, anxiety, procedure-related pain

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