Open Access Research article

Obstetric outcomes for nulliparous women who received routine individualized treatment for severe fear of childbirth - a retrospective case control study

Gunilla Sydsjö12*, Marie Bladh1, Caroline Lilliecreutz1, Anna-Maria Persson1, Hanna Vyöni1 and Ann Josefsson1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE 581-85 Linköping, Sweden

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Linköping, County Council of Östergötland, University Hospital, SE - 581 85 Linköping, Sweden

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:126  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-126

Published: 3 April 2014



To study pregnancy and delivery outcomes in nulliparous women with severe FOC (fear of childbirth), all of whom had received routine treatment for their FOC and to make comparisons with a healthy reference group of nulliparous women.

To study the possible relationship between the number of FOC-treatment sessions and the delivery method.


All nulliparous women with a diagnose FOC who received routine treatment for FOC (n = 181) and a reference group of nulliparous women without FOC (n = 431) at a university and a county hospital in the south east region of Sweden were analysed. Data from antenatal and delivery medical records were used to study outcome.


The majority of women with severe FOC had a vaginal delivery. The incidence of elective CS was greater in the index group than in the reference group (p < 0.001). The total number of women with a planned CS in the index group was 35 (19.4%) and in the control group 14 (3.2%). Thus, on average five women per year received an elective CS during the study years due to severe FOC. The women in the index group who wished to have a CS were similar to the other women in the index group with reference to age, BMI, chronic disease but had been in in-patient care more often during their pregnancy than those who did not ask for CS (p = 0.009).


In this study of women treated for severe FOC, the majority gave birth vaginally and no relationship was found between number of treatment sessions and mode of childbirth.

FOC; Primary fear of childbirth; Pregnancy outcome