The Prevalence of Postpartum Depressive Symptoms in Women from a Public Maternity Hospital in Tucumán, Argentina at 4 Weeks Postpartum




Pham, Diana

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OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of our study is to investigate the prevalence of postpartum depression at 4 weeks postpartum in women from a public hospital in Tucuman, Argentina. Our secondary objective is to determine a relationship between postpartum depression and the associated sociodemographic, medical and obstetric factors. METHODS: We conducted an observational cross-sectional study that was carried out from March 17, 2016 to May 30, 2016 and from June 28, 2016 to July 29, 2016. There were 539 participants. Women were excluded if they: Were less than 18 years old, were located in the intensive care unit (ICU), gave birth to a stillborn or recent newborn that died during delivery, with a multiple gestation, had a recent newborn in the neonatal ICU, had a recent newborn with congenital abnormalities, or gave birth at gestational age less than 28 weeks old. RESULTS: Of the 539 participants, 167 (31.0%) had depressive symptoms. Important risk factors for developing PPD included employment status, education level, positive personal and family history of psychiatric illnesses, perceived social stresses such as poor patient-physician relationship or lack of childcare help, and giving birth to a female newborn. CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of postpartum depression (31.97%) in Tucuman demonstrates that the public sector is twice that of the private sector in Buenos Aires. This study results shows that postpartum depression is a serious public health issue and further study is needed about the cultural acceptance of mental health and how to provide adequate follow-up or treatment in a low-resource setting.

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