The effect of various factors on anxiety levels in women undergoing abortions

The effect of various factors on anxiety levels in women

undergoing abortions

I. Gönenç, E.Z. Tuzcular Vural, G. Köse, N. Aka

Haydarpaca Numune Education and Research Hospital, Family Planning Unit,

Istanbul, Turkey

Objectives Anxiety is defined as an unpleasant emotional and

physical state of apprehension. Abortion is a stressful event and women are said

to experience subsequent problems regarding anxiety. In our study we aimed to

show the relation between the anxiety levels before abortion procedures and

certain sociodemographic features and reproductive histories of women seeking

medical help for termination of unintended pregnancies.

Design and methods The

material of our study consisted of 356 women, with unintended pregnancies of 5

to 8 weeks gestational age, asking for legal abortions. All women were

interviewed before the procedure using the Hospital Anxiety and Depresion Scale

(HADS) and were given 600 mg Ibuprofen, PO before the procedure. None of the

women had received any kind of anxiolytic drug. The statistical evaluations were

made using the SPSS for Windows programme version 10.1. Descriptive tests such

as mean and standard deviations and correlation tests were used to show the

relation between reproductive history and the amount of anxiety perceived.

Results The mean age of the women was 32.37 ±  4.38 years. The mean gestational

age was 7.03 weeks ± 0.8 days. The mean of prior deliveries, pregnancies,

miscarriages, abortions and living children were 2.19 ± 1.33, 4.04 ± 2.28,

0.36 ± 0.15, 0.70 ± 0.36 and 2.06 ± 1.30 respectively. Of these women, 17.98 %

were primigravids, 85.12 % had legal, civil marriages while 6.74 % had religious

marriages; 9.83 % did not have social security. The relationship between age,

social security, educational status, years since last delivery, number of

deliveries, number of pregnancies, number of abortions, number of miscarriages

were as follows: age-anxiety; r = 0.081, social security-anxiety; r = 0.125,

educational status- anxiety: r = -0.346, years since last delivery- anxiety; r =

0. 107, number of deliveries- anxiety; r = 0.156, number of pregnancies- anxiety;

r = 0.135, number of abortions- anxiety; r = – 0.104, number of miscarriages-

anxiety; r = – 0.213. 

Conclusions Our study showed that the age, social

security status, reproductive history and marital status had weak and negligible

correlations with anxiety levels of the women undergoing termination of


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