Introduction: Maternal distress related to the occurrence of preeclampsia. The distress condition may disrupt the neuroendocrine and immune systems, activating the maternal HPA axis and increasing serum cortisol levels. The latter may affect the placental cortisol lvel, may alter the trophoblast invasion, which is the main pathology of preeclampsia. This study aims to assess the correlation between maternal distress and the incidence of preeclampsia using PSS and DASS-21 questionnaires.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study at two secondary hospitals in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia from December 2022 until February 2023. Twenty women with preeclampsia and seventeen non-preeclamptic women as control were included in this study. Maternal distress was measured using self-reported PSS and DASS-21 questionnaires.
Results: Preeclamptic women were significantly more depressed and stressed than the control group, while there was no significant difference in anxiety scores between groups. Maternal distress measured by PSS score positively correlated with the occurrence of preeclampsia (p<0,05; β-value 0,742).
Conclusion: Maternal distress conditions were correlated with the occurrence of preeclampsia. Further research still needs to be done to unravel the mechanisms by which maternal distress can induce preeclampsia.