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Women Birth. 2011 Mar;24(1):10-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2010.05.002. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Investigating quality of life and depressive symptoms in the postpartum period.

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General Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, Brazil.



Mood disturbances represent the most frequent form of maternal psychiatric morbidity in the postpartum period. Nevertheless, few studies have examined the impact of postpartum depression on the mother's quality of life. RESEARCH QUESTION OR PROBLEM: The present study aims to assess the quality of life of a sample of mothers in Southern Brazil, in order to investigate the association between postpartum depression and quality of life (QoL) standards.


This study investigates a sample of 101 adult volunteers who completed the Portuguese version World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment-Bref (WHOQOL-Bref) and Multicultural Quality of Life Index (MQLI) questionnaires. Postnatal depressive symptoms were evaluated through the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS) and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Multiple regression analyses were conducted to predict the overall PDSS and EPDS scores. Pearson Product-Moment Correlation coefficients were computed between the global scores of the quality of life measurements and the screening questionnaires for postnatal depression.


Both socio-economic status and quality of life have influenced significantly the depressive symptomatology and correlated epiphenomena. Significant correlations were observed among scores of postpartum depression screening tools and quality of life questionnaires. The socio-economic status of research participants was only significantly correlated to the scores generated by the WHOQOL-Bref questionnaire.


These findings confirm that socio-economic deficiencies and low quality of life can facilitate the expression of depressive symptomatology during the postpartum period. The results also emphasize the salience of psychosocial risk factors in the diathesis of postnatal depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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