Disability, Pelvic Girdle Pain, and Depressive Symptoms in the First 3 Months Postpartum

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Abstract

Objective:

This study explored associations among disability, pelvic girdle pain (PGP), and postpartum depressive symptoms and cutoff scores for disability in the postpartum population with PGP.

Study Design:

A prospective, observational cohort study.

Background:

Women experience significant physiological and emotional changes during recovery from pregnancy and delivery. PGP, disability, and depressive symptoms have yet to be investigated in the first 3 months postpartum.

Methods and Measures:

Women were surveyed at 4, 8, and 12 weeks postpartum using the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, a pain questionnaire, and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Analyses included nonparametric group comparisons, χ2, correlation, and receiver operating characteristic curve.

Results:

Twenty-one women were enrolled and 57% reported PGP. Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores significantly correlated with PGP (P < .05) and predicted PGP at 4 weeks (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.938, SE = 0.54, P = .004, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.831–1.0) and at 12 weeks (AUC = 0.934, SE = 0.06, P = .008, 95% CI = 0.825–1.0) with 100% sensitivity using ODI cutoff scores of 15% and 7%, respectively. PGP at 4 weeks was associated with a history of low back pain (χ2 (1, N = 21) = 6.43, P = .03), cesarean section (χ2 (1, N = 21) = 4.89, P = .05), and depressive symptoms (r = 0.43, P = .055). Approximately 20% of participants reported self-harming thoughts.

Conclusion:

ODI scores significantly correlated with PGP and were higher than those of the general population with lumbopelvic pain. Results highlight the importance of screening for suicidal ideation and should be reproduced in larger, more diverse cohorts.

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