Adolescents are at higher risk for mental health problems during pregnancy.
The present study was designed to investigate the impact of couple-centered counseling on pregnancy anxiety and concerns in female adolescents.
The present quasi-experimental study was conducted on primigravida adolescents referring to health centers in Hamadan City, Iran. Using the convenience sampling method, 90 pregnant adolescents were assigned to two groups (intervention group=45, control group=45) using a randomized block design. Both groups completed the demographic questionnaire, pregnancy-related anxiety questionnaire, and Cambridge worry scale. The intervention group received five counseling sessions with the presence of their spouses, in addition to routine pregnancy care. The control group only received routine prenatal care. Posttest was taken four weeks after finishing the consulting intervention. The groups were compared in terms of pregnancy-related anxiety and pregnancy worry scores using the independent t-test, the Chi-square test, the Fisher exact test, and the analysis of variance or covariance. In case of a significant difference between the groups, Cohen’s d effect size was calculated.
There was no significant difference between the two groups regarding age, education, and occupation of adolescents and their spouses, duration of the marriage, housing situation, family members, and economic situation. The mean scores of pregnancy concerns in the intervention group (10.80±4.78) were significantly (P=0.001, Cohen’s d=2.41) lower than the control group (22.33±4.78). The mean scores of pregnancy anxiety in the intervention group (35.86±8.04) were significantly (P=0.001, Cohen’s d=2.74) lower than the control group (57.93±8.04).
Couple-centered counseling can reduce the anxiety and concerns of primigravid adolescents. It is recommended to use this effective, accessible, and acceptable approach to maintain and promote the mental health of pregnant adolescents.
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