To quantify the association of pregnancy context and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
English- or Spanish-speaking women, aged 16–44, with pregnancies <24 weeks gestation were enrolled in this cross-sectional study between June 2014 and June 2015. Participants completed self-assessments of pregnancy “context,” including: timing, intention, wantedness, desirability, happiness, and planning (measured with the London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy). HRQoL was measured using the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Global Short Form (PROMIS-GSF). Associations between measures of pregnancy context and HRQoL scores in the lowest tertile were examined using multivariable logistic regression to adjust for potential confounding variables.
We enrolled 161 participants (mean age=27.2±6.6 years). Only 14% self-identified as White, non-Hispanic; 42% Hispanic, 37% Black, non-Hispanic, and 7% multiracial. Most (79%) participants were unmarried, and 75% were parenting. Mean gestational age was 9±4.6 weeks. In unadjusted models, women reporting mixed feelings about wanting to have a baby, an undesired pregnancy, or feeling unhappy about learning of their pregnancy more frequently had low mental and physical HRQoL compared to women reporting wanted, desired, happy pregnancies. Women with an unplanned pregnancy or pregnancy occurring at the wrong time also had lower physical HRQoL than women reporting pregnancies that were planned or happened at the right time. However, after multivariate adjustment, including history of depression, pregnancy contexts were not associated with low mental or physical HRQoL.
After adjusting for multiple confounders, pregnancy context is not significantly associated with HRQoL.