Quality of Life Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1349–1360 | Cite as

Factors associated with the quality of life of mothers of preterm infants with very low birth weight: a 3-year follow-up study

  • M. R. S. Moura
  • C. G. A. Araújo
  • M. M. Prado
  • H. B. M. S. Paro
  • R. M. C. Pinto
  • V. O. S. Abdallah
  • T. M. S. Mendonça
  • C. H. M. Silva



To analyze possible factors associated with the quality of life (QoL) of mothers of preterm infants with very low birth weight (VLBW) during the first 3 years after delivery.


The World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL)-bref scores were compared and correlated with maternal and infant-related sociodemographic and clinical variables at maternal discharge (T0) and at 6 (T1), 12 (T2), 24 (T3), and 36 (T4) months after delivery. Multiple linear regression models were fitted to investigate the effect of these variables on the mothers’ QoL.


The WHOQOL-BREF physical domain scores were higher at T1 and T2 compared to T0 (p = 0.013). Maternal variables that contributed to maternal QoL scores (p < 0.05) were stable marital union (b = 13.60; T0), family income (b = −12.75; T3), Evangelical religion (b = 8.11; T4), and beck depression inventory (BDI) score (−1.42 ≤ b ≤ −0.36; T0, T1, T2, T3, and T4). Infants’ variables that most affected maternal QoL (p < 0.05) were posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) (−18.84 ≤ b ≤ −10.05; T1, T2, and T4), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) (b = −7.41; T2), female gender (b = 8.09; T2), and SNAPPE severity score (b = −0.23; T3).


Mothers of preterm infants with VLBW exhibited transient improvements in physical well-being during the first year after delivery. The presence of depressive symptoms in mothers and the diagnosis of PHH or BPD were negatively associated with QoL. Social, religious, and economic aspects were also important factors for the QoL of mothers of preterm infants with VLBW.


Quality of life Mothers Very low-birth-weight newborn Regression analysis 



World Health Organization quality of life–bref assessment


Beck depression inventory


Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia


Score for neonatal acute physiology with perinatal extension


Very low birth weight



We thank the participating mothers, without whom this study could not have been conducted, as well as Celine Vieira, psychologist at the neonatology service at the time of data collection, for her indispensable help in the acquisition of materials and training in the assessment of the Denver II Developmental Test.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. S. Moura
    • 1
    • 4
  • C. G. A. Araújo
    • 1
    • 4
  • M. M. Prado
    • 1
  • H. B. M. S. Paro
    • 3
  • R. M. C. Pinto
    • 2
  • V. O. S. Abdallah
    • 1
    • 4
  • T. M. S. Mendonça
    • 4
  • C. H. M. Silva
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  2. 2.School of MathematicsFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  4. 4.Post-Graduate Program in Health SciencesFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil

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