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J Psychosom Res. 1999 Apr;46(4):391-4.

Early postnatal depressive mood: associations with obstetric and psychosocial factors.

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Department of Obstetrics, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


The central purpose of this investigation was to detect incidence and influencing factors on early postnatal depressive mood in a large hospital sample. By means of an interview we acquired information on sociodemographic data, physical and psychiatric anamnesis, and obstetric and psychologic variables. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) served to determine the depressive mood of our patients. The interview was carried out on 1250 women at two postnatal wards 5 days after delivery. According to the results of the German validation of the EPDS, where a cutoff of 9/10 indicates at least mild depressive disorder, the whole sample was divided into group A (EPDS score < or = 9; n = 996, 79.7%) and group B (EPDS score > or = 10; n = 254, 20.3%). Early postnatal depressive mood, as assessed by the EPDS, appeared with 20% of all women taking part in our investigation on the fifth postnatal day. Subjective measurements such as high childbirth burden, elevated trait anxiety, low life satisfaction and lower social class, and low birth weight of the infant seem to be of predominant relevance for early postnatal depressive mood.

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