Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Affect Disord. 2019 Mar 1;246:522-529. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.12.124. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

What protects at-risk postpartum women from developing depressive and anxiety symptoms? The role of acceptance-focused processes and self-compassion.

Author information

1
Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra, 3000-115 Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address: fgmonteiro.91@gmail.com.
2
Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra, 3000-115 Coimbra, Portugal.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Not all women presenting risk factors for postpartum depression (PPD) develop depressive symptoms. Research has shown that acceptance-focused processes (nonjudgmental appraisal of thought content, psychological flexibility) and self-compassion play an important protective role in the development of psychological symptoms. However, considering the perinatal period, little is known about what variables can modify the negative impact of risk.

METHODS:

The sample consisted of 185 postpartum women at risk of developing PPD (Postpartum Depression Predictors Inventory-Revised > 5.5). Data were collected regarding depressive (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) and anxiety symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), psychological flexibility (Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II), nonjudgmental appraisal of thought content (Postnatal Negative Thoughts Questionnaire) and self-compassion (Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form).

RESULTS:

Women not presenting depressive and anxiety symptoms reported significantly higher levels of psychological flexibility, nonjudgmental appraisal of thought content and self-compassion than women presenting depressive and anxiety symptoms. Hierarchical logistic regression showed that women with higher levels of psychological flexibility (OR = 1.06, CI: 1.01-1.12) and nonjudgmental appraisal of thought content (OR = 1.33, CI: 1.15-1.53) had a significantly higher likelihood of not presenting depressive and anxiety symptoms.

LIMITATIONS:

The limitations of this study were the cross-sectional design, the use of self-report questionnaires and the self-selected bias in recruitment.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study emphasizes the important role of acceptance-based processes, suggesting that at-risk women who are more accepting of their private events may be more protected from developing psychological symptoms. Preventive interventions should consider the promotion of these processes to improve women's adjustment to this period.

KEYWORDS:

Acceptance; Anxiety symptoms; Depressive symptoms; Postpartum; Risk; Self-compassion

PMID:
30599377
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2018.12.124

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center