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Depress Anxiety. 2011 Nov;28(11):1020-6. doi: 10.1002/da.20892. Epub 2011 Sep 2.

Depression treatment and maternal functioning.

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  • 1University of Louisville, Nursing, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, USA.



In women with major depressive disorder (MDD), maternal role functioning is negatively impacted but has been shown to improve with treatment; however, most investigations have not included a control group or studied women longitudinally. We hypothesized that women with MDD who responded to serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) would have overall functioning and maternal role functioning scores similar to that of the control group and superior to women with MDD (either untreated or nonresponsive to SSRIs).


This prospective, longitudinal observational study (n = 215) included postpartum assessments at 2 1/2 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Postpartum women were categorized into four mutually exclusive exposure groups by depression and medication status: (1) Control group (no SSRI, no MDD; (2) Responder (SSRI, no MDD); (3) Untreated (MDD, no SSRI); and (4) Nonresponder (Both MDD and SSRI). Outcome variables include a measure of overall functioning (Global Assessment Scale, GAS) and three measures of maternal role functioning (Maternal Self Efficacy, ICS; Gratification in Maternal Role, GRAT; and overall maternal role functioning, IFSAC).


The study hypothesis was supported. Responders had scores related to overall functioning and maternal role functioning that were similar to the control group and superior to nonresponders and untreated women with MDD, as measured by the GAS and the GRAT.


Postpartum depression treatment optimally targets both symptom improvement and maternal functional recovery. The GRAT is a simple, self-administered instrument that can be used with a depression measure to assess maternal role functioning.

© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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