Faculty Advisor

Amy B. Curtis


Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

Presentation Date


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Study goal: To examine whether type of stressor and number of stressors predict emergency department utilization among perinatal women.

Methods: Study data was collected via mixed methods: Telephone survey interviews, retrospective medical chart reviews and secondary data analysis. The 326 study participants were recruited during their postpartum hospital stay. Information was collected assessing stressors across five domains: Basic living needs, relational, social, mental health and health. The outcome variable of interest was number of emergency department visits.

Results: More than four out of five (82.8%) of women experience life stressors, many of them (68.1%) across multiple domains. Only 32.8% visited an emergency department during this perinatal period. However, there was a strong linear relationship between emergency department visits and experiencing life stressors. The number of stressors had a greater association with number of emergency department visits than the domain of the stressor.

Conclusion: Life stressors, across all domains, predict emergency department visits among perinatal women.


One of the winners of 2011 Research and Creative Activities Poster Day.

Faculty Mentor: Amy Curtis

Interdisciplinary Health Sciences