Cesarean effects on adolescents' birth experiences: counterfactual analysis
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Introduction The birth experience of adolescents is understudied even though they are a particularly vulnerable population to experience a negative birth event, given that they exhibit many known risk factors. Objective To ascertain whether a cesarean birth mediates the impact of infant complications on the birth experience of adolescent mothers. Methods Using a secondary analysis of data collected from 303 postpartum adolescents previously evaluated for depression and post-traumatic stress, we
... raumatic stress, we employed counterfactual causal analysis to determine if delivery type mediated the birth experience at different levels of depression. Noted limitations pertain to methodological assumptions and computational feasibility as well as potential sample bias. Results We found that the mediating effect of delivery mode depended on the adolescent's depression level as well as on the specific operationalization of the birth experience. At low levels of depression, the odds of a negative birth appraisal were reduced by around 30% when operationalized as a single item subjective rating. In contrast, at high levels of depression, the odds of a negative birth experience increased by 80% when operationalized as an Impact of Event Scale (IES) subconstruct. Conclusion Depression level plays a pivotal role in moderating how delivery mode mediates the birth experience. The direction of impact also depends on how the birth experience is operationalized.