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J Reprod Med. 2009 Sep;54(9):563-8.

Is low literacy a risk factor for symptoms of depression in postpartum women?

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital Postpartum Depression Program, 1450 North Cherry, Tucson, AZ 85718, USA. bdweiss@u.arizona.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if postpartum women with limited literacy are at higher risk for depression symptoms than women with adequate literacy.

STUDY DESIGN:

We interviewed women during their postpartum hospitalization following delivery of a healthy infant to collect baseline demographic data and assess literacy skills. We contacted these women by phone 6-10 weeks postpartum and administered the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), using scores > or = 9 to indicate symptoms of postpartum depression. Analysis determined if EPDS scores > or = 9 were more frequent among women with low vs. higher literacy.

RESULTS:

Of 235 women interviewed in the hospital, 138 (58.7%) were interviewed 6-10 weeks postpartum and completed the EPDS. The rate of EPDS scores > or = 9 was 26.1% among women with limited literacy vs. 8.8% among women with higher literacy (p = 0.018). On multivariable analysis that considered confounding variables, low literacy retained its significant relationship with symptoms of postpartum depression (OR 3.45, 95% CI 1.02-11.82).

CONCLUSION:

Based on results of this preliminary study, low literacy may be a risk factor for symptoms of postpartum depression.

PMID:
19947034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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