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Authors

  1. Lau, Ying PhD

Abstract

This study investigated the prevalence of preterm birth and low-birth-weight in Macao. It also evaluated the effects of maternal perceived stress and health-related quality of life on these 2 birth outcomes. A quantitative study using a prospective longitudinal design was undertaken in an antenatal clinic in Macao. A community-based sample (N = 581) of pregnant women in their second trimester was recruited; birth outcome data were collected from medical records. Perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale, whereas health-related quality of life was measured using the standard SF-12 Health Survey. The prevalence rates of preterm birth and low-birth-weight were found to be 6.4% and 7.1%, respectively. Two multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that participants with past adverse obstetric complications and higher perceived stress levels were more likely to have premature infants. Also, those participants with higher perceived stress levels and poorer health-related quality of life in the physical health domain were more likely to have low-birth-weight infants. Preliminary information was provided on risk factors associated with adverse birth outcomes; this could help nurses to design appropriate risk-specific interventions for preventing preterm birth and low-birth-weight.