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Perinatal depression is a severe and disabling condition, which affects negatively both mothers’ and children’s mental health and well-being. About 12.8% of pregnant women report depressive symptoms in the perinatal period.
The aims of the present study are to: 1) identify factors (socio-demographic and clinical) associated with an increased risk of developing PD; 2) promote a screening program on PD.
All pregnant women were assessed at each trimester of pregnancy, three days after the childbirth and after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months, with the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). Women scoring ≥10 on the EPDS were invited to receive a full psychiatric evaluation to confirm the diagnosis.
420 women were recruited. 52.9%, 27.6% and 31.6% of participants presented an EPDS≥ 10 score at The I, II and III trimester of pregnancy, respectively. The percentage of patients with and EPS score ≥19 is 16.6%, 6.8%, 6.8%, 11.3% and 7.8% in 3 days following the childbirth and after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, respectively. Higher EPDS scores are predicted by the presence of anxiety symptoms before pregnancy and of depressive and anxiety symptoms in previous pregnancies (p<0.05). Women with family conflicts and with anxiety symptoms in the partner are more likely to report higher EPDS scores (p<0.001).
Our results confirm that perinatal depression is a highly prevalent condition. An early identification of depressive symptoms during this period is crucial in order to reduce the long-term negative impact on the mothers, the newborn and other family members.
No significant relationships.
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