Antenatal screening for depressive/anxiety symptoms could be biased by worries surrounding the first ultrasound (US). Therefore, we examined the potential influence of worries surrounding the first US on systematic screening for depressive/anxiety symptoms during pregnancy.
Materials and Methods
We obtained data from 573 women screened consecutively in midwifery practices and hospitals in the Netherlands. Data included the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS), having had an US, and its perceived influence on women’s worries.
In total, 18% had EDS scores ≥10 (n = 105). Among 392 women who underwent an US, currently existing worries, introduced or unaltered by the US, predicted depressive/anxiety symptoms (aOR: 3.41, P < 0.001). Among 181 women who did not undergo an US, expected continuation of existing worries after the US predicted depressive/anxiety symptoms (aOR: 18.84, P = 0.046), in contrast to worries which were expected to subside. Discussion In our cohort, depressive and/or anxiety symptoms were not associated with transient worries, reduced by a first US, suggesting no bias. If true, antenatal screening for anxiety/depressive symptoms should not depend on the timing of this US examination.