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PeerJ. 2018 Nov 8;6:e5893. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5893. eCollection 2018.

Changes in stigma and help-seeking in relation to postpartum depression: non-clinical parenting intervention sample.

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Psychology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.


Postpartum depression (PPD) is a prevalent mental illness affecting women, and less commonly, men in the weeks and months after giving birth. Despite the high incidence of PPD in Australia, rates for help-seeking remain low, with stigma and discrimination frequently cited as the most common deterrents to seeking help from a professional source. The present study sought to investigate PPD stigma in a sample of parents and to examine the effects of an intervention on stigma and help-seeking behaviour. A total of 212 parents aged 18-71 years (M = 36.88, 194 females) completed measures of personal and perceived PPD stigma and attitudes towards seeking mental health services and were randomly assigned to one of four groups: an intervention group (video documentary or factsheet related to PPD) or a control group (video documentary or factsheet not related to PPD). Results showed that there were no effects for type of intervention on either personal or perceived PPD stigma scores. No effect was found for help-seeking propensity. Males had higher personal PPD stigma than females and older age was associated with lower personal PPD stigma. Familiarity with PPD was associated with perceived PPD stigma in others but not personal PPD stigma. More work needs to be conducted to develop interventions to reduce PPD stigma in the community.


Help-seeking; Intervention; Postpartum depression; Stigma

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