There are significant increases in the survival rates of premature babies owing to rapid developments in medical technology. As the number of premature babies that can survive in neonatal intensive care increases, so does the frequency of complications due to prematurity. The aim of this study was to investigate the depressive and anxiety symptom levels, and factors affecting these, in mothers of infants who were followed up owing to a diagnosis of premature retinopathy (ROP).METHODS:
This study involved 78 consecutive mothers of premature babies, who applied to the ophthalmology clinic between February and May 2016. The mothers completed the Sociodemographic Information Form, Symptom Check List (SCL-90-R), Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and State-Trait Anxiety Scale (STAI).RESULTS:
The mean scores of SCL-90-R Depression, Anxiety, and Global Severity Index (GSI) subscales, as well as STAI-1 and STAI-2 were higher in mothers of ROP-diagnosed babies. Factors affecting maternal depression and anxiety levels were the absence of maternal social support and the level of premature retinopathy. Mothers whose babies are diagnosed with ROP may have high levels of depression and anxiety.CONCLUSION:
The psychiatric follow-up, treatment, and social support provided to the mother, and regular follow-up of the baby after birth are important both for the mental health of the mother and the healthy development of the baby. Further research is needed to understand the role of parental mental health problems on the development and treatment processes of infants with premature retinopathy.