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Comparing the course of anxiety in women receiving their first compared to repeated caesarean section: a prospective study
20 September 2018 (online)
To compare the course of anxiety between women receiving their first caesarean section and women with a repeated caesarean section.
304 women with an indication for a planned caesarean section took part. 155 received their first caesarean section and 149 received a repeated caesarean section. In order to measure the course of anxiety on the day of the caesarean section subjective anxiety levels (STAI-State, Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety (VAS-A)) were measured and saliva samples were taken in order to determine cortisol and amylase levels at admission, during skin closure and two hours after the surgery. Blood pressure and heart rate were documented at skin incision and skin closure.
Women experiencing their first caesarean section displayed higher anxiety levels compared to women with a repeated caesarean section. STAI-State and VAS-A differed significantly at admission (p= 0.006 and p < 0.001) and heart rate and alpha amylase levels were significantly higher at skin closure (p= 0.027 and p= 0.029).
Previous experience with caesarean section has a soothing effect on anxiety levels of the woman. The results should sensitive surgeons, nurses and midwife when treating women receiving a caesarean section and encourage them to integrate soothing interventions especially in women receiving their first caesarean section in order to reduce anxiety levels and consequently improve postoperative recovery and patient's satisfaction.