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Rev Invest Clin. 2012 Nov-Dec;64(6 Pt 2):625-33.

[Psychosocial factors predicting postnatal anxiety symptoms and their relation to symptoms of postpartum depression].

[Article in Spanish]

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Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, México, DF.



To study perinatal anxiety symptoms in a sample of Mexican mothers. A) To evaluate the effect of certain psychosocial factors during pregnancy on anxiety symptoms at two postpartum time intervals; and B) to determine whether this symptomatology is related to symptoms of postnatal depression.


In this secondary data analysis, 156 women were interviewed during pregnancy (T1): 149 were interviewed again at 6 weeks postpartum (T2) and 156 at 4-6 months postpartum (T3). Subjects were selected from women seeking prenatal attention at three health centers in Mexico City who presented with depressive symptomatology and/or previous history of depression. Two models were subjected to multivariate regression analysis to determine the influence of psychosocial factors in pregnancy (age, education, partner status, social support [APGAR], stress events, self-esteem [Coopersmith], depressive symptomatology [BDI-II], and anxiety [SCL-90]) on anxiety symptomatology (SCL-90) in T2 and T3. Two additional linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the influence of prenatal anxiety symptomatology (SCL-90) on postpartum depression symptoms (BDI-II), one for each postnatal period (T2, T3).


The variables that predicted postpartum anxiety symptomatology in T2 were anxiety symptoms and lack of social support; in T3 they were anxiety symptoms, lack of a partner, and lack of social support. Prenatal anxiety symptoms predicted postpartum depressive symptomatology at both postpartum intervals (T2, T3).


Untreated prenatal anxiety symptomatology is predictive of symptoms of anxiety and depression in the postpartum period, suggesting the need for timely detection and treatment. Women lacking social support or partners are a population particularly vulnerable to anxiety symptoms, and merit interventions that address these issues.

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