Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of postnatal depression in a community sample of women in a disadvantaged urban area in West Dublin, and to examine the factors which may be associated with it.
Method: All women who had a live birth in the area over a one year period were identified (944) and the self-rated Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was distributed to those who could be contacted by the public health nurses. Those scoring in the depressed range (> 12) were compared to non-depressed for age, marital status, employment, parity, presence of a confidant, mode of delivery, previous miscarriage and previous psychiatric history.
Results: Contact was made with 596 women and 377 responded. Responders were older and more likely to be first time mothers, but there was no significant difference between responders and eligible population for marital status. One hundred and eight women (28.6%) scored in the depressed range. Ten sociodemographic and clinical variables were entered into a logistic regression. Scores over the threshold (> 12), suggesting clinical depression, were significantly associated with four variables, lower age, absence of a confidant, previous miscarriage and previous treatment for depression by a GP.
Conclusions: A high prevalence of postnatal depression of 28.6% was reported, which may be associated with overall high levels of social disadvantage in this sample. There were implications for the targeting of resources into such areas. The associated factors are discussed.