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Antenatal mental health problems are well recognised to impact negatively on a woman and her developing fetus, influencing both the pregnancy outcome and quality of life. There is limited information on prevalence and risk factors of antenatal depression in Singaporean women.
To examine the prevalence of depressive disorders in pregnant women attending Singapore's National University Hospital (NUH) and the association between these conditions and socio-demographic factors.
To improve our knowledge and understanding of the epidemiology of antenatal depressive disorders in Singapore.
Pregnant women attending NUH (2009 to 2010) were screened for depressive symptoms using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Patients who screened positive (scores > 13) were clinically assessed by trained clinicians using DSM IV criteria for diagnosis. The cases were then discussed with a core group of 3 psychiatrists to reduce interrater variability.
From 530 screened women, the overall prevalence of antenatal depressive symptoms was 47.8% (EPDS > 13). 12.5% of patients were diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, 52.1% with Adjustment Disorder, 4.5% with Anxiety Spectrum illness (Panic Disorder, GAD, OCD, PTSD), 1.1% with Bipolar Disorder and 3.8% with Other diagnoses.
After adjustment with socio-demographic variables, depressive symptoms were significantly associated with single, divorced or separated pregnant women (OR = 4.09, 95% CI = 1.39−12.09, p < 0.05) and those with three or more social relationship problems (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.00–2.84, p < 0.05).
Antenatal depressive symptoms are common in Singaporean women and they are associated with identifiable risk factors such as single status and limited social support.
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