loading page

The incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following traumatic childbirth: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  • +3
  • Xiao lu Lai,
  • Haiqi Li,
  • Lepeng Zhou,
  • Yan Liao,
  • Shi Wu Wen,
  • Rihua Xie
Xiao lu Lai
Southern Medical University

Corresponding Author:15892061176@163.com

Author Profile
Haiqi Li
Hebei Medical University
Author Profile
Lepeng Zhou
Southern Medical University
Author Profile
Yan Liao
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Author Profile
Shi Wu Wen
University of Ottawa
Author Profile
Rihua Xie
Foshan Women and Children Hospital Affiliated to Southern Medical University
Author Profile


Background Birth trauma may be a risk factor for postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, no systematic review on postpartum PTSD in women with traumatic childbirth has been reported. Objective This study aimed to estimate the incidence of PTSD following traumatic childbirth through systematic review and meta-analysis. Search strategy Six databases (CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, PubMed, CNKI and Wanfang) were searched from inception to 28 February 2022. Selection criteria Cohort studies and cross-sectional studies related to the incidence of PTSD following traumatic childbirth were included. Data collection and analysis Two reviewers independently conducted studies selection, quality evaluation of studies, and data extraction. The Random-effects meta-analysis was conducted to derive the pooled incidence using Stata 16.0 software. Main results A total of nine studies with 1,823 women experienced traumatic birth were included. Of them, 353 were identified as PTSD. The pooled incidence of PTSD after traumatic childbirth was 19.2% (95%CI: 11.9%~26.5%). Subgroup analyses showed that the incidence of PTSD varied with traumatic birth/PTSD assessment scales and time, and type of study participants. Meta-regression analyses indicated that the study country was a significant source of heterogeneity, and the sample size birth trauma/PTSD were potential predictors of incidence of PTSD after a traumatic birth. Sensitivity analysis by deleting one study at a time yielded similar results. Conclusions The incidence of PTSD in women with traumatic childbirth is about 19%, which is much higher than that in general postpartum population. Keywords post-traumatic stress disorder, incidence, traumatic childbirth, postpartum, meta-analysis