Academy Health Annual Research Meeting, June 27-28, 2005, Boston, Massachusetts. Washington, DC: Academy Health, 2005 Jun; :1
Research Objective: To investigate the prevalence and predictors of postpartum depression during the first six months after childbirth. Methods: This study utilizes secondary data on women 18 years or older; delivering a live, singleton infant at three Twin Cities hospitals in 2001. Telephone interviews were performed at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after delivery, yielding response rates of 88% (N=716), 81% (N=661), and 76% (N=625), respectively. Longitudinal analyses employed (1) baseline covariates, including demographics, pregnancy and delivery characteristics, and (2) repeated measures covariates evaluated at every period including job characteristics, social support, health services used, and infant sleep problems. The impact on depression scores (on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) was estimated using General Linear Models. Results: On average, women were 30 years old, 78% were married, 88% were white, 46% were primiparas, and 44% reported prenatal mood problems. Depression prevalence was 4.2% at 6 weeks, 4.9% at 12 weeks, and 3.9% at 6 months postpartum. Variables significantly predicting a higher postpartum depression score were: Being non-white, experiencing prenatal moods, higher perceived job stress, less job flexibility, less available social support, and infant sleep problems. Policy Implications: Health care providers have an important role assessing and educating women about risk factors for depression and exploring the need for resources (e.g., counseling, parenting support groups, and primary health services). Employers can support postpartum women by implementing flexible work schedules. Given the positive association between increased job stress and postpartum depression, future research should investigate determinants of women's job stress.
Academy Health Annual Research Meeting, June 27-28, 2005, Boston, Massachusetts