Aims: The current study, the first of its kind, investigated the overlap between adult separation anxiety (ASA) and the symptoms of depression and anxiety in the context of pregnancy.
Methods: Women attending an antenatal clinic were screened using the Adult Separation Anxiety Scale (ASA-27). As most perinatal clinics use the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS), this study explored the relationship between ASA and the anxiety and depression symptoms by comparing the ASA-27 scores with the scores on the EDS. A subsample including both screen positives and screen negatives on ASA-27 was clinically interviewed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
Results: Women with ASA were significantly more likely to be screened positive for depression (EDS total score) and anxiety (EDS-3A anxiety subscale) than those without ASA. The diagnosis of ASA disorder in this population had only a moderate but significant association with the diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder [χ2(1)=25.9, P=0.000, Φ=0.443] and major depression [χ2(1)=16, P=0.000, Φ=0.348] made using the MINI.
Conclusion: Adult separation anxiety warrants independent assessment in order to tailor appropriate interventions for the individual subtypes of anxiety in the perinatal period.
©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston