Vol 80, No 4 (2009)

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Cohabitation as a strong predicting factor of perinatal depression

Olimpia Sipak-Szmigiel, Elżbieta Ronin-Walknowska, Mikołaj Majkowicz, Magdalena Z. Podolska
Ginekol Pol 2009;80(4).


al and methods: 117 pregnant women (at 32-40 weeks of gestation) and 105 postpartum patients (2-5 days after the delivery) were included in the study. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used as a screening test for symptoms of pre- and postnatal depression. The risk of appearance of depressive symptoms was assessed in three groups of pregnant and postpartum patients – married, unpartnered and cohabitating. Results: By means of the EPDS test, symptoms of perinatal depression were found in 17% of pregnant and 10% of postpartum women. In comparison to married women, the risk of appearance of depressive symptoms in unpartnered pregnant patients was almost 10-times higher (OR=9,34; 95% CI 1,42, 201,77), and several hundred times higher in cohabitating pregnant women (OR=975,86; 95% CI 116,73, 19502,00); the risk of depressive symptoms in postpartum unpartnered women was more than 2 times higher (OR=2,4; 95% CI 0,59, 9,72) and more than 20 times higher in cohabitating postpartum mothers (OR=23,2; 95% CI 5,89, 91,51). Conclusions: 1/ the marital status of pregnant and postpartum women has a substantial influence on the risk of the development of perinatal depressive symptoms; this risk is highly increased in a group of cohabitating women compared to patients remaining in a formal partnership as well as women who live unpartnered, 2/ clinical evaluation of women in the perinatal period should include the assessment of their psychosocial status, which can constitute a predicting factor of perinatal depression, 3/ pregnant women living in informal partnership should be put under strict psychological surveillance.

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