Quality of Life Research

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 1019–1026 | Cite as

The impact of severe preeclampsia on maternal quality of life

  • Christina SternEmail author
  • Eva-Maria Trapp
  • Eva Mautner
  • Maria Deutsch
  • Uwe Lang
  • Mila Cervar-Zivkovic



Preeclampsia (PE) is a serious life event that can change women’s psychological profile. The aim of this study was to evaluate the physical and mental health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in women after PE and the impact of contributing factors.


Ninety-five women who had suffered from PE answered the Short-Form-12 Health Survey on general state of health. Comparison was made with the reference values and among the study cohorts, namely mild (14.7 %), severe (74.7 %) and superimposed PE (10.5 %). Medical parameters were evaluated as additional factors, and age served as covariate.


Quality of mental life was significantly worse in all patients (p < 0.01), especially in those after severe PE (p < 0.01) compared to the reference range. These women demonstrated significantly worse results than those affected by the mild form (p = 0.03). Women who had had superimposed PE were neither physically nor mentally impaired compared to the standard population values (p = 0.94 and p = 0.90, respectively). After controlling for medical parameters and age, differences remained statistically significant. Multiparous women scored significantly worse on the mental scale than primiparous (p = 0.02), and pregnant women scored significantly worse than non-pregnant women on the physical level (p = 0.04).


This study shows that women who have suffered from severe PE are substantially reduced in their mental quality of life. An extensive medical care including HR-QoL parameters might improve pregnancy outcome.


Health-related quality of life Hypertensive pregnancy disorders Mild preeclampsia Severe preeclampsia 



Health-related quality of life




German SF-12 Short-Form Health Survey


World Health Organization

HELLP syndrome

Haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets syndrome


Physical and mental component summary scores


Blood pressure


Intensive care unit




Standard deviation



We would like to thank Fedor Daghofer, PhD, for the statistical analysis and Andrew Peaston, B.Sc., for language editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Stern
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eva-Maria Trapp
    • 2
  • Eva Mautner
    • 1
  • Maria Deutsch
    • 1
  • Uwe Lang
    • 1
  • Mila Cervar-Zivkovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyMedical University of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.University Clinic of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Research Unit of Behavioural Medicine, Health Psychology and Empirical PsychosomaticsMedical University of GrazGrazAustria

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