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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2002 Jul-Aug;31(4):436-43.

Fatigue as a predictor of postpartum depression.

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1
Pennsylvania State University School of Nursing, University Park 16802, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The postpartum is a time when women commonly report increased fatigue that may contribute to depression. Studies have not examined fatigue alone as a predictor of postpartum depression.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine whether and when fatigue in the early postpartum is predictive of postpartum depression.

DESIGN:

Correlational, longitudinal study.

SETTING:

Two hospitals and participants' homes in central Pennsylvania.

PARTICIPANTS:

Convenience sample of 38 healthy women recruited from hospital maternity units within 24 hours after an uncomplicated birth.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Fatigue was measured using the Modified Fatigue Symptom Checklist (MFSC) on Days 0, 7, 14, and 28 after childbirth. Depression was assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depressive Symptomatology Scale (CES-D) on Day 28.

RESULTS:

After adjustments for multiple comparisons, a significant correlation was obtained between fatigue as measured by the MFSC and postpartum depression on Day 7 (r = .46; p < .05), Day 14 (r = .57), and Day 28 (r = .70). Fatigue on Day 0 was correlated with fatigue on Day 7 (r = .45), Day 14 (r= .58), and Day 28 (r = .34).

CONCLUSIONS:

Fatigue as early as 7 days postpartum is predictive of depression at Day 28 postpartum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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