Judy Phipps

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing


Fatigue and sleep pattern disturbance are universal complaints voiced by pregnant women. Both have been shown to have a relationship with mood. Growing numbers of women remain employed during their pregnancies. This trend indicates a potential for increase in these complaints among employed pregnant women due to the added demands on their time and energy. Little analysis has been done concerning these variables in this population. In order to better understand these variables as they occur in employed pregnant women, this study examined the self-reported levels of fatigue, sleep disturbance and mood from a longitudinal data set. The sample (n=85) was comprised of employed pregnant women in any stage of pregnancy. Data were collected antepartally, postnatally and one month and one year post partum as part of a longitudinal study. This study was limited to the investigation of the variables in the antepartum period. Instruments selected for this investigation were the Profile of Moods States, a revised Chronic Fatigue Index, a two-day Activity/Sleep/Rest Diary and two open-ended questions concerning 1) reasons for fatigue and 2) ways of coping with fatigue. Descriptive statistical analysis of the data revealed elevated perceived fatigue levels, negative mood and disturbed sleep patterns. Correlation coefficients revealed statistically significant (p􀃰. 05) positive relationships between l)the number of complete sleep cycles on a day off and the Depression/Dejection subscale of the POMS, 2)the number of complete sleep cycles on a day off and the total POMS score without the fatigue subscale (measurement of mood), 3) the total number of hours of sleep on a day off and the Vigor subscale of the POMS, 4) the fatigue subscale of the POMS and a total POMS score without fatigue subscale and 5) the Chronic Fatigue Index and a total POMS score without the fatigue subscale. Statistically significant (p<. 05) negative relationships were found between 1) the number of short sleep cycles and the Tension/Anxiety subscale of the POMS and 2) the number of complete sleep cycles and the fatigue subscale of the POMS. Content analysis of the two open-ended questions about fatigue revealed that women primarily perceived physical reasons, not necessarily related to pregnancy, as the reason why they felt fatigued. They also tended to use more confrontive coping strategies aimed specifically at mitigating the effects of the perceived cause of their fatigue.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pregnancy -- Physiological aspects Pregnancy -- Psychological aspects Pregnant women -- Employment Fatigue



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University