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Can J Psychiatry. 2008 Feb;53(2):121-4.

Postpartum depression symptoms in newcomers.

Author information

  • 1University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto General Hospital, Ontario. donna.stewart@uhn.on.ca



To determine if postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms are more common in newcomer women than in Canadian-born women.


Refugee, nonrefugee immigrant, asylum-seeking, and Canadian-born new mothers were administered questionnaires for depression, social support, interpersonal violence, and demographic information. We created a PPD variable based on a score of > or = 10 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and performed a logistic regression analysis for PPD.


Immigrants (35.1%), asylum seekers (31.1%), and refugees (25.7%) were significantly more likely than Canadian-born (8.1%) women to score > or = 10 (P = 0.008) on the EPDS, with the regression model showing an increased risk (odds ratio) for refugee (4.80), immigrant (4.58), and asylum-seeking (3.06) women. Women with less prenatal care were also more likely to have an EPDS of > or = 10 (P = 0.03). Newcomer women with EPDS scores of > or = 10 had lower social support scores than Canadian-born women (P < 0.0001).


Newcomer mothers have an increased risk for PPD symptoms. Social support interventions should be tested for their ability to prevent or alleviate this risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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