A Program Aimed at Reducing Anxiety in Pregnant Women Diagnosed With a Small-for-Gestational-Age Fetus: Evaluative Findings From a Spanish Study

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of anxiety-reducing techniques including music therapy, sophrology, and creative visualization in pregnant women with a fetus diagnosed as small for gestational age and improved fetal and neonatal weight. This was a quasi-experimental study with a nonrandomized clinical trial design. We compared 2 groups of pregnant women with a fetus diagnosed as small for gestational age with no abnormalities on Doppler studies. The control group (n = 93) received standard care, and the intervention group (n = 65), in addition to standard care, underwent a program of 6 sessions led by a midwife or nurse who taught anxiety-reduction techniques. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) including trait and state subscales were completed by both groups at the start of the study, and only the STAI-State subscale was completed again at the end of the study. Comparisons between the 2 groups regarding fetal weight and centile and maternal STAI scores were performed using the t test and the χ2 test. There were no significant differences in the STAI-Trait scores between the 2 groups. There were statistically significant differences in the intervention group's STAI-State score percentiles between the start and the end of the study, being lower at the end of the study (P < .001). There were significant differences between the 2 groups in fetal weight trajectory on the basis of fetal weight: the intervention group had a larger weight gain (P < .005). The program designed to reduce anxiety in pregnant women was effective at reducing anxiety in the women in the intervention group, leading to a favorable fetal weight trajectory in this group.

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