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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2004 Jun;109(6):434-9.

Outcome of postpartum disorders: a 10 year follow-up of hospital admissions.

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Child, Adolescent and Family Consultation Service, Ipswich, UK.



To determine readmission and recurrence rates of women admitted to psychiatric hospital with their babies, and index factors predicting subsequent course.


A total of 66 women were followed up after 10 years. Information was obtained from structured interviews or other personal contact, and from general practitioners and hospital notes. Psychiatric diagnoses were made according to Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC). Outcome and predictive factors were investigated using survival analysis.


A recurrence rate of 87.2%, and a readmission rate of 63.3% were found. Readmissions were more common after index schizophrenia than other diagnoses. The strongest predictor of readmission was previous psychiatric history. Among 27 subsequent pregnancies, puerperal recurrence was high among those with index psychoses (75-80%), but lower among those with index depression (27.3%).


The recurrence rate is high, with a moderate readmission rate predicted by past psychiatric history. Continuing clinical vigilance over the long-term is required for these patients.

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