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Br J Psychiatry. 1993 Aug;163:210-6.

Postnatal psychiatric illness: the impact on partners.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London.


Out of 24 spouses of women with postnatal psychiatric illness admitted to a mother and baby unit over 12 months, 12 were found to be psychiatrically ill, as defined by RDC or DSM-III criteria. The rate of psychiatric disorder was higher in these men than in a control group of men whose partners remained well after childbirth and a group of men whose partners were admitted to a psychiatric hospital with non-puerperal illness. The onset of psychiatric illness in the men typically followed admission of their wives to the mother and baby unit. Other associations with illness in the man were a history of chronic social problems, previous psychiatric episodes, and a poor relationship with his own father.

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