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Arch Womens Ment Health. 2014 Feb;17(1):49-56.

Prevalence of paternal perinatal depressiveness and its link to partnership satisfaction and birth concerns.


Depressive disorders have shown an increasing prevalence over the past decades. Growing evidence suggests that pregnancy and childbirth trigger depressive symptoms not only in women but likewise in men. This study estimates the prevalence of paternal perinatal depressiveness in a German community sample and explores its link to partnership satisfaction as well as birth-related concerns and concerns about the future. Data was gathered in a longitudinal study over the second and third trimester of their partner’s pregnancy up to 6 weeks postpartum. In a two-stage screening procedure, 102 expectant fathers were assessed for symptoms of depression, anxiety, and partnership satisfaction using the Edinburgh Postnatal depression Scale (EPDS), the State/Trait Anxiety Inventory, a self-constructed questionnaire for birth concerns and the Questionnaire of Partnership. The prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms among expectant fathers was 9.8 % prenatally and 7.8 % postnatally. Prenatal relationship quality, prenatal EPDS scores, and birth concerns were significantly associated with and explained 47 % of the variance in paternal postnatal depressive symptoms. The prevalence of paternal depressive symptoms is a significant concern. Our findings point out the need for implementing awareness and screening for depressiveness in fathers in clinical routine in Germany as well as the necessity of developing a screening instrument for paternal birth-related anxiety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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