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Acta Paediatr. 2008 Jun;97(6):724-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.00733.x. Epub 2008 Mar 28.

Maternal depression is associated with mother-infant interaction in preterm infants.

Author information

1
Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. riikka.korja@utu.fi

Abstract

AIM:

The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and the background factors of maternal depressive symptoms and their relation to the quality of mother-infant interaction in a group of preterm infants and their mothers.

METHODS:

The signs of maternal depression were evaluated in 125 mothers of very preterm infants (birth weight < or = 1500 g or < 32 gestational weeks) at 6 months of infant's corrected age using Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The association between maternal depressive symptoms and the quality of mother-infant interaction as assessed by the parent child early relational assessment method (PCERA) method was studied at 6 and 12 months of corrected age in 32 preterm infants who were their mothers' firstborn infants and singletons.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of depression assessed by EPDS in mothers of very preterm infants was 12.6%. Most interestingly, the number of postnatal signs of depression associated negatively with the quality of the maternal interaction behaviour with their preterm infants.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that maternal depression may be a risk factor in the development of the mother-infant relationship between preterm infants and their mothers. Therefore, it would be important to identify signs of depression in mothers of preterm infants to offer early support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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