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Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Dec;181:505-12.

Economic costs of post-natal depression in a high-risk British cohort.

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  • 1National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, UK.



Post-natal depression is a common condition that can result in distress for the mother and deleterious effects on the development of the infant.


To estimate the economic costs of post-natal depression in a geographically defined cohort of women at high risk of developing the condition.


Unit costs were applied to estimates of health and social care resource use made by 206 women recruited from antenatal clinics and their infants. Net costs per mother-infant dyad over the first 18 months post-partum were estimated.


Mean mother-infant dyad costs were estimated at pound 2419.00 for women with post-natal depression and pound 2026.90 for women without post-natal depression, a mean cost difference of pound 392.10 (P=0.17). The mean cost differences between women with and without post-natal depression reached statistical significance for community care services (P=0.01), but not for other categories of service. Economic costs were higher for women with extended experiences of the condition.


The results of this study should be used to facilitate the effective planning of services by different agencies.

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