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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 1997 Dec;23(6):547-54.

Postnatal depression: a prospective study of its prevalence, incidence and psychosocial determinants in an Israeli sample.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.



To assess the prevalence and incidence of postnatal depression and its relation to certain psychosocial factors.


A questionnaire was administered to 327 randomly selected pregnant women on the first or second postpartum day A and again 6 to 12 weeks later B. The questionnaire comprised a psychosocial and demographic self-report, and the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).


At time A the prevalence of postnatal depression was 9.9-22.3%, and at time B it was 5.2-12.4% (p < 0.0001). Four of the psychosocial determinants examined correlated significantly with depression at times A and B. These factors were: a positive psychiatric history, Oriental ethnic origin, being foreign born, inconvenient timing of pregnancy.


Postnatal depression was less common than in most reported series. It was related to marital and social support, the circumstances of the pregnancy, and the degree of religious observance. Postnatal depression is a specific disorder, not equivalent to depression in the prenatal period.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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