Background: Previous studies that have examined the impact of nausea and vomiting (NV) on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) among early pregnant women have collected data at a single time point, with the timing varying among studies, and even, in one study, among subjects. No previous study has examined the independent association NV and social support have with HR-QOL.
We conducted a longitudinal study from August 2018 to February 2019 to investigate the independent association NV and social support have with HR-QOL among early pregnant women using repeated-measurement data. Subjects were 153 pregnant women who were 20 years of age or older and at less than 20 weeks of gestation at their first prenatal visit. They were recruited from a perinatal outpatient unit of a general hospital.
Methods: Along with providing sociodemographic data, subjects were asked to complete three self-administered questionnaires: the Index of Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching (INVR); the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS); and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12). Further, at every subsequent visit up to 20 weeks of gestation, they were asked to complete both the SF-12 and the INVR (giving a maximum of three survey completions).
Results: After controlling for internal correlations and confounding factors using a mixed model for longitudinal data, the INVR score was found to be significantly negatively associated with the physical component summary scale score of the SF-12; however, the MSPSS score showed no association with the physical component summary scale score. On the other hand, both the INVR score and the MSPSS score were negatively and positively, respectively, significantly associated with the mental component summary scale score of the SF-12, independently of each other.
Conclusions: The severity of NV significantly impacts physical quality of life during early pregnancy, but social support has no such impact. However, NV and social support independently and significantly affect mental quality of life, independently of each other. Health professionals should recognize the significant impact of NV on HR-QOL. Additionally, they should be aware that social support contributes to the improvement of mental quality of life, regardless of the degree of NV.