Does anxiety sensitivity predict post-traumatic stress symptoms following childbirth? A preliminary report

Edmund Keogh, Susan Ayers, Harriet Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the current study was to investigate whether prenatal levels of anxiety sensitivity would predict post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following childbirth. A total of 40 women completed a series of self-report measures, including the Anxiety Sensitivity Index and the General Health Questionnaire at 36 weeks gestation. The women were followed-up 2 weeks postpartum with self-report measures of post-traumatic stress disorder, mood and birth experiences. Correlational analysis revealed that a combination of pre- and postnatal psychological factors as well as obstetric events was related to post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Regression analysis revealed that prenatal anxiety sensitivity predicted post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, suggesting that anxiety sensitivity may act as an important vulnerability factor in psychopathological responses to childbirth. Further investigation into this construct seems warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalCognitive Behaviour Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002


  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Childbirth
  • Pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • PTSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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