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Eur Psychiatry. 2009 Jun;24(5):334-40. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2008.10.003. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

The BDI-II factor structure in pregnancy and postpartum: Two or three factors?

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Institute of Medical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Rua Larga, 3004-504, Coimbra, Portugal.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the factor structure of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) in pregnancy and postpartum. Women were asked to fill in the BDI-II in their last trimester of pregnancy and at 3 months after delivery. A total of 331 pregnant women, with a mean age of 29.7 years (SD=4.6), and 354 mothers, aged 30.6 years (SD=4.6 years), answered the BDI-II. The first group was mainly nulliparas (65.6%) and the second group was mostly primiparas (57.4%). Factor analyses with principal components solution and varimax rotation were performed. Based on the scree test of Cattell a 2-factor solution and a 3-factor solution were explored. The 2-factor solution was identical in pregnancy and postpartum. Items loading in the Cognitive-Affective factor and in the Somatic-Anxiety factor were almost the same, though the Cognitive-Affective factor explained more of the BDI-II total variance in pregnancy, whereas in postpartum both factors explained similar total variances. The 3-factor solution of the BDI-II in pregnancy and postpartum slightly diverged. Besides the Cognitive-Affective and the Somatic-Anxiety factors, a third factor, Fatigue, was obtained in pregnancy while Guilt was the third factor identified in postpartum. This study reveals that the BDI-II 3-factor solution might be more appropriate to assess depressive symptoms in pregnancy and postpartum.

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