The effect of a telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy on quality of life: a randomized controlled trial
OBJECTIVE Quality of life has emerged as an important health outcome in the care of perinatal families. This study was designed to examine the changes in quality of life among Chinese couples during the transition to parenthood. METHODS A longitudinal design was used. Participants comprised a convenience sample of 203 Chinese-childbearing couples attending the antenatal clinics, who completed data collection during pregnancy and at six weeks and six months postpartum. At each point, couples completed the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12-Item Health Survey. RESULTS The results showed that women experienced substantial changes in their quality of life during pregnancy and postpartum, whereas the changes in their partners' quality of life were less noteworthy. Women had a poorer quality of life than their partners during the early postpartum period. The mental health component of women's quality of life was closely related to their partners' across the perinatal period. CONCLUSIONS The findings of the present study highlight the need for more attention to a couple's quality of life during the transition to parenthood. Couple-based and culturally relevant interventions should be developed to assist both parents to cope with the new challenges and demands of parenthood, and thus achieve a better quality of life.