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Predictors of Perception of Pregnancy Risk among Nulliparous Women

Authors


  • The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.

Correspondence

Hamideh Bayrampour, MSc, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research, Child Development Centre, c/o 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8. hbayramp@ucalgary.ca

ABSTRACT

Objective

To determine factors associated with perception of pregnancy risk using a conceptual framework based on a review of the relevant literature and the psychometric model of risk perception.

Design

A correlational study.

Setting

Ambulatory care and antepartum units of two tertiary hospitals and selected obstetricians’ offices and prenatal classes in Winnipeg, Canada.

Participants

A convenience sample of nulliparous women in their third trimester with a singleton pregnancy.

Methods

Between December 2009 and January 2011, the following questionnaires were completed by 159 nulliparous women: the Perception of Pregnancy Risk Questionnaire, the Pregnancy-related Anxiety scale, Knowledge of Maternal Age-related Risks of Childbearing Questionnaire, the SF-12v2 Health Status Survey, the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control, and the Prenatal Scoring Form. Pearson's r correlations and stepwise multivariable linear regression analyses were conducted to achieve the research objectives.

Results

Of the eight proposed factors in the conceptual framework, five factors were significant predictors of perception of pregnancy risk, including pregnancy-related anxiety, maternal age, medical risk, perceived internal control, and gestational age, accounting for 47% to 49% of the variance in risk perception. An interaction between the pregnancy-related anxiety score and maternal age was found.

Conclusions

These results contribute to the literature on perception of pregnancy risk by identifying a new predictor (gestational age), supporting the role of previously known factors in the state of pregnancy, and proposing pregnancy-related anxiety as a pregnancy dread factor in risk perception theories. This knowledge may have implications for developing more effective risk communication models.

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