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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-42

Postpartum depression and its risk factors: A cross-sectional exploratory study

Department of Psychiatry, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abhijeet Faye
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry (OPD-10), 2nd Floor, OPD Building, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, Digdoh Hills, Hingna Road, Nagpur - 440 019, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_3_21

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Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mental health condition affecting the psychological/physical health of a mother and the infant significantly. Aims: This study aims at assessing the prevalence, the pattern of symptoms, and the risk factors associated with PPD. The study also aims at finding the correlation between PPD and stressful life events. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital on sixty participants after ethics committee approval. Consecutively selected patients in a postpartum state fulfilling the study criteria were selected from obstetric ward and interviewed using semi-structured pro forma, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5 (DSM 5), Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), and Presumptive Stressful Life Events Scale (PSLES). Data collected were statistically analyzed with SPSS software using mean, standard deviation, and Chi-square test. Results: Mean age of the participants was 25.53 (standard deviation - 3.2). Prevalence of PPD was 6.7% which was a major depressive disorder as per the DSM 5 criteria. Sadness of mood (Depressed mood), impaired concentration, change in weight, and insomnia were the commonly reported symptoms. Seventy five percent of the participants had PSLES score of >100, indicating higher stress. Furthermore, 75% of the participants with a history of abortion showed a PSLES score above 100. Significant positive correlation was found between PSLES score and HAM-D score, with 63% of the participants with PSLES score >200 had a HAM-D score of >8 (suggestive of depression). Younger (<20 years) or older (>30 years) age at pregnancy, history of abortion, and higher level of stress were found to be the risk factors for developing PPD. Conclusion: Although the prevalence is less, PPD is an important mental health issue. It is worth screening all the patients in postpartum state so as to intervene early if needed. This may help in better care of physical and psychological health of a mother and the newborn.

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