Mestermann S, Fasching PA, Beckmann MW, Gerlach J, Kratz O, Moll GH, Kornhuber J, Eichler A, the IMAC-Mind-Consortium. The Benefit of a Retrospective Pregnancy Anamnesis in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: The Reliability of Maternal Self-Report during Childhood Development. Children. 2023; 10(5):866. https://doi.org/10.3390/children10050866
Pregnancy anamnesis is a crucial part of child and adolescent psychiatry diagnostics. In previous works, the reliability of retrospective maternal self-report on perinatal characteristics was heterogeneous. This prospective longitudinal study aimed to evaluate women’s recall of prenatal events in a within-subject design. A sample of 241 women gave a self-report on prenatal alcohol, smoking, partnership quality, pregnancy satisfaction, and obstetric complications during the 3rd trimester (t0), childhood (t1, 6–10 y), and adolescence (t2, 12–14 y). The intra-individual agreement was examined. The t0–t1–(t2) agreement was poor to substantial; this was highest for smoking and worst for obstetric complications, followed by alcohol (Fleiss’ κ = 0.719 to −0.051). There were significant t0–t1–(t2) differences for all pregnancy variables (p < 0.017), except for 3rd trimester satisfaction (p = 0.256). For alcohol (t0 25.8%, t1 17.4%, t2 41.0%) and smoking (t0 11.9%, t1 16.4%, t2 22.6%), the highest self-reported rates were found during adolescence. During childhood, fewer obstetric complications (t0 84.9%, t1 42.2%) and worse partnerships were reported (t0 M = 8.86, t1 M = 7.89). Thought to be due to social stigmata and memory effects, pregnancy self-reports cannot be precisely reproduced. Creating a respectful and trusting atmosphere is essential for mothers to give honest self-reports that are in the best interest of their children.