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South Med J. 2005 Apr;98(4):416-8.

Depression screening in the pregnant soldier wellness program.

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  • 1Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, VA, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of depression among active-duty low-risk pregnant women using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Rates for depression have been reported to be as high as 13% during pregnancy and 12 to 22% postpartum, with postpartum suicidal ideation at nearly 7%.


From April 2002 through March 2003, 82 women receiving prenatal care at Madigan Army Medical Center completed screening questionnaires during pregnancy and/or postpartum visits.


A total of 97 questionnaires were administered (71 antepartum and 26 postpartum). During pregnancy, 24% of individuals screened scored positive. During the postpartum, 19% scored positive. A total of 15 women were screened twice during the study period. One woman was screened twice during pregnancy and the remaining 14 were screened once antepartum and once postpartum. Suicidal ideation was present in 11% of those screened during pregnancy and in 15% postpartum.


Active-duty women appear to have a higher rate of depression and suicidal ideation compared with rates in nonmilitary populations; perhaps such screening should become a standard practice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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