The Prevalence of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Symptoms and their Psychological Correlates amongst Pregnant Clinic Attendees in the Capricorn District, South Africa

Raesetsa D. Malemela, Solomon Mashegoane


This study investigated the prevalence of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms and their relationship with pregnancyrelated anxiety, perinatal depression and clinical anger among pregnant black African women in South Africa. The sample consisted of 206 women attending their antenatal check-ups at the Mankweng, Nobody, and Rethabile Clinics, and the Mankweng hospital in the Capricorn District, Limpopo Province. Quantitative data was collected from a convenience sample, within a cross-sectional survey design. First, the prevalence of OCD among the women was established. Then Pearson‘s correlation analysis was used to establish if there was a linear relationship between the variables of the study. Variables that were related were then subjected to regression analysis, seeking to establish if the independent variables, pregnancy-related anxiety, perinatal depression and clinical anger, together with other pregnancy-related variables, would predict OCD symptoms. When correlational analysis was conducted, the patient characteristics of having undergone a medical check-up, and having previously delivered a live baby generally did not correlate with any of the main scales measuring OCD symptoms, perinatal depression, pregnancy-related anxiety and clinical anger (p > 0.05). Almost 39.5% of the pregnant women could be classified as obsessive-compulsive disordered, when using the cut-off score of 36. Furthermore, findings from regression analyses indicated that higher age, the number of gestation weeks, having previously experienced pregnancy-related complications, perinatal depression, pregnancy-related anxiety and clinical anger were variably positive predictors of the Revised version of the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory (OCI-R) measured OCD symptoms. The predictors were specific to each of the symptoms. It can be concluded from the study that there is a relationship between OCD symptoms and all the independent variables used. (Afr J Reprod Health 2019; 23[2]: 44-55)

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