OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the presence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in parental couples of newborn requiring early surgery at 6 and 12 months after birth.
STUDY DESIGN: A longitudinal study was set up from January 2014 to June 2015. As a measure of PTSD, we used the Italian version of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R).
RESULTS: Thirty-four couples form the object of the study. At 6 months, half of mothers (52.9%) and fathers (44.1%) reported traumatic stress symptoms above the clinical cutoff. Percentages remained stable at 12 months. When parental gender and length of follow-up were compared with two-factor analysis of variance, none had an impact on IES-R score, nor an interaction between these factors was found. A significant correlation of IES-R total score was present within the couple both at 6 and 12 months (6 months-r: 0.6842, p < 0.0001 and 12 months-r: 0.4045, p = 0.0177).
CONCLUSION: Having a child with a repaired malformation represents a complex prolonged stressful situation with persistent burden for both parents who are at high risk of developing PTSD symptoms.