Term of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Anne Scott Stiles

Committee Member 1

Carol L. S. Simonson

Committee Member 2

ElDonna Hilde

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to answer the research question, does social support lessen maternal anxiety antepartally in the home-bound, high-risk pregnant woman on prescribed bedrest? Anxiety in the antepartum has been shown to increase maternal physiological stress (Kemp & Hatmaker, 1989; Kaplan, Sadock & Gregg, 1994). This could lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes in high-risk pregnancy. Social support has been theorized to provide a buffering effect against the effects of stress (Caplan, 1974; Cobb, 1976; Mercer, 1986). The theoretical framework for this study is Mercer, May, Ferketich and DeJoseph's (1986) model predicting the effects of antepartum stress on health status. A quasi-experimental pre-test, post-test control group design was used in this study. The sample (n = 14) consisted of home-bound, high-risk pregnant women on prescribed bedrest, half of whom were in the control group (n = 7) and half in the experimental group (n = 7). Both groups were initially given a demographic questionnaire and tested with the Speilburger State Anxiety Inventory (SAI). The experimental group then received the experimental intervention of structured social support while both groups continued to receive their normal medical treatment. Three weeks later, both groups were retested with the SAL The data was analyzed using descriptive, inferential statistics and content analysis. Study results revealed that the control group had a greater decrease on post-test anxiety scores than the experimental group. This did not support the research hypothesis. However, the qualitative findings revealed four areas of stress for the home-bound, high-risk pregnant woman on prescribed bedrest. These were: finances, medical treatment, interruption in life and impending term labor.

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