Interoception is associated with anxiety and depression in pregnant women: A pilot study

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Pregnancy and postpartum are periods in which women develop psychosocially. However, becoming a mother is stressful, and mood disorders related to anxiety and depression often develop. In recent years, research on interoception—sensations related to the body’s internal physiological state—has attracted attention. Interoception has multifaceted characteristics. It involves directly perceiving information in the body while also inferring and evaluating it. In this study, we examined interoception, anxiety, and depression in Japanese pregnant women. Empirical examinations and questionnaire surveys were used to measure interoception in 32 pregnant women not at high risk of pregnancy. A Japanese adaption of the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness was used to measure interoceptive sensibility, and a heartbeat counting task performance was used to measure interoceptive accuracy. Anxiety and depression were measured using the Japanese versions of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, respectively. A correlation analysis was performed between interoception, anxiety and depression and between differences between sensibility and accuracy of interoception, anxiety and depression. We revealed that interoceptive sensibility and differences between sensibility and accuracy of interoception were associated with anxiety. Based on results of this pilot study, it is necessary to investigate using longitudinal studies whether interoception might be an effective predictor tool for early detection of anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0267507
JournalPloS one
Issue number5 May
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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