Prenatal Fatigue and Quality of Life of Pregnant Women over 26 Weeks of Gestation
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(41st Biennial Convention) Pregnant women have high rate of experiencing fatigue, which may impact women's quality of life (QoL). The purposes of his study were to examine relationship between fatigue and QoL (general, physical, mental, and social health) of women in the third trimester. The study was a cross-sectional design with snowball sampling. Data from 128 pregnant women without pregnancy-related physical/mental complications in Taiwan were analyzed. They were at 32.66 (SD=3.76) gestational weeks and were 40.41 (SD=4.30) years old. About half of them were primiparous (55%) and employed (57%); had an education higher than high school (59%) and planned for the pregnancy (51%). The 16-item Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue (MAFS, scores 1-50, high score indicates higher level of fatigue) and the 17-item Duke Health Profile (DHP, scores 0-100 on each dimension of health, higher score indicates healthier) were used. Cronbach's alphas for the MAFS and DHP were .96 and .80, respectively. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Pearson correlation, and regression were used. Participants did not have very high score on the MAFS (M=20.56) and physical (M=52.97), mental (M=64.61), social (M=63.71), and general (M=60.43) health of the DHP. Fatigue was correlated with physical (r=-.68), mental (r=-.53), social (r=-.45), and general (r=-.70) health. Fatigue could explain 47% of the variance of physical, 28% of mental, 20% of social, and 49% of general health. Fatigue and dimensions of QoL did not differ by gestational groups (<32, 32-36, and >36 weeks), educational level (college or higher and lower than college), or happy about pregnancy (happy, unhappy, and uncertain). Employed pregnant women had better mental (t=2.14, p=0.04) and social (t=2.81, p=0.01) health than unemployed women. Strategies to manage fatigue such as time management, may improve maternal QoL. Helping pregnant women to be employed may increase their QoL. Longitudinal study can help to understand patterns of fatigue and QoL during pregnancy.