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BMC Psychiatry. 2015 Apr 2;15:66. doi: 10.1186/s12888-015-0452-7.

Prevalence and predictors of antenatal depressive symptoms among Chinese women in their third trimester: a cross-sectional survey.

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Department of Obstetrics, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Psychiatry, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.
Guangzhou Brain Hospital, Guangzhou Medical University, 36# Mingxin Road, Liwan, Guangzhou, China.



Depression during pregnancy can be detrimental to both maternal and fetal health outcomes. A cross-sectional study was undertaken, with the goal of determining the prevalence and predicting factors associated with antenatal depressive symptoms during late pregnancy among Chinese women.


Participants were recruited during bookings for antenatal care at a maternal and child health hospital's outpatient care clinics. Measurements included the Chinese version of Self-rating Depression Scale, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Social Support Rating Scale, and Simplified Coping Strategies Questionnaire.


A total of 292 women participated in this study, with 28.5% prevalence of depressive symptoms. Significant protective predictors were: a younger age (OR = 0.85; 95% Confidence Interval-CI 0.76-0.95), good partner relationship (OR = 0.40; 95% CI 0.17-0.93), preparedness for delivery (OR = 0.36; 95% CI 0.20-0.63), active coping (OR = 0.92; 95% CI 0.89-0.96), and social support (OR = 0.92; 95% CI 0.88-0.97). In contrast, significant risk factors were: a history of miscarriage (OR = 1.86; 95% CI 1.30-2.66), irregular menstrual history (OR = 2.98; 95% CI 1.64-5.40), and financial worries (OR = 2.33; 95% CI 1.27-4.30). Psychosocial risk factors include psychoticism and neuroticism personality traits (OR = 1.06; 95% CI 1.02-1.10 and OR = 1.07; 95% CI 1.04-1.10, respectively), and pregnancy pressures (OR = 1.04; 95% CI 1.02-1.07).


Depressive symptoms are common in third trimester antenatal clinic attendees. Interventions for early recognition of depression should target older women with a history of miscarriage and financial worries. Intervention strategies could be by providing more social support and promoting active coping strategies. Findings support a recommendation that antenatal services consider integrating screening for depression in routine antenatal care.

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