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[Prevalence of depressive disorders in early puerperium].

[Article in German]

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Universit├Ątsklinik f├╝r Frauenheilkunde Innsbruck, Osterreich.



The aims of this investigation were to detect the prevalence and influencing factors of early postpartal depressive disorders in a large hospital sample.


By means of an interview we acquired information on sociodemographic data, physical and psychiatric anamnesis, obstetric and psychological variables. The German version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) served to determine the depressive disorder of our patients. The interview was carried out on 1,250 women at the maternity ward 5 days after delivery.


According to the results of the German validation of the EPDS, 254 (20.3%) women at the maternity ward had an at least mild depressive disorder. A comparison between nondepressed women (n = 996, 79.7%) and depressed women (n = 254, 20.3%) revealed the following risk factors for the development of an early postpartal depressive disorder: higher subjective burden of childbirth, higher trait anxiety, poorer couple compatibility, lower job satisfaction and lower social status. Of all the obstetric variables previous abortions, elevated pregnancy risks, low weight of the newborn at delivery and cesarean section were of significant influence.


Early postpartal depressive disorder appears in 20% of all women 5 days after delivery. According to previous studies this group seems to be at highest risk for developing a later postpartum depression. Considering the psychosocial and obstetric risk factors, preventive psychotherapeutic interventions at the maternity ward are indicated.

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