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Medical and psychosocial determinants of risk of postpartum depression: a cross-sectional study

  • Karolina Maliszewska (a1), Mariola Bidzan (a2), Małgorzata Świątkowska-Freund (a1) and Krzysztof Preis (a1)



The aim of this study was to investigate the degree of risk of maternal postpartum depression during the second month of puerperium.


In total, 387 postnatal women filled out a questionnaire concerning their health and social status, as well as the following tests: the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), the Neo Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) Personality Inventory and the Berlin Social Support Scales. After 4–8 weeks, patients responded to another questionnaire with the EPDS and the PHQ-9.


In total, 48 patients (12.40%) were found to be at risk of postpartum depression between the fourth and eighth weeks after delivery. Premenstrual syndrome [adjusted odds ratio (ORa)=2.93, confidence interval (CI) 1.30–6.63] and EPDS>12 points during the first week after the delivery (ORa=3.74, CI 1.59–9.04) increased the risk of postnatal depression. A similar role is played by a high result in neuroticism scale of the NEO-FFI (ORa=1.50, CI 1.17–1.92) and a positive family history of any psychiatric disorder (ORa=1.03, CI 1.01–1.06).


A history of premenstrual syndrome and a higher risk of affective disorder soon after a childbirth are associated with greater chances of depressive symptoms in the second month postpartum. This is also the case if a patient is neurotic and has a relative with a history of any psychiatric disorder. Such women should have their mental status carefully evaluated.


Corresponding author

*Karolina Maliszewska, Department of Obstetrics, Medical University of Gdańsk, ul. 1a Kliniczna Street, 80-402 Gdańsk, Poland Tel: +48 58 349 34 45; Fax: +48 58 349 34 16; E-mail:


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Medical and psychosocial determinants of risk of postpartum depression: a cross-sectional study

  • Karolina Maliszewska (a1), Mariola Bidzan (a2), Małgorzata Świątkowska-Freund (a1) and Krzysztof Preis (a1)


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