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Women's decision-making regarding medication use in pregnancy for anxiety and/or depression


Correspondence to K.M. Stepanuk: e-mail:



To increase understanding of women's decision-making process concerning the medication use for anxiety and/or depression while pregnant.


Anxiety and depression affects many pregnant women, yet the decision to take psychotropic medication is complex and possibly subject to social oppression.


Cross-sectional descriptive survey design.


A web-based survey was used to collect data from a convenience sample of 143 pregnant women over 3 months beginning in early 2011. An independent t-test was conducted to determine differences in satisfaction between women with high and low levels of emancipated decision-making (EDM). A multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine which subscales of the emancipation scale best predict level of satisfaction with the decision.


The majority of respondents were White, between 25–34 years of age. The group with lower levels of emancipation reported lower mean satisfaction scores compared with those with higher levels of emancipation. Regression analysis showed that the three subscale emancipation model was a statistically significant predictor of satisfaction with the decision and accounted for 54% of the variance in satisfaction. The subconcept of personal knowledge was most predictive of satisfaction with decision.


Women may be able to overcome oppressive forces by using an EDM process. EDM allows them to make a decision that feels right for them and to feel satisfied with the decision.

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