Back to Annual Meeting Page
American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3121.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 11:05 AM

Abstract #113008

A longitudinal analysis of postpartum depression among employed women

Rada K. Dagher, MPH, PhD Cand1, Patricia M. McGovern, PhD2, Bryan E. Dowd, PhD3, Laurie Ukestad, MS2, and David McCaffrey3. (1) Health Services Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, MMC 729 Mayo Bldg 8729, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55454, 612-379-0562, dagh0004@umn.edu, (2) Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Mayo Mail Code 807, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, (3) Division of Health Services Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street S.E., Mayo Mail Code 729, Minneapolis, MN 55455

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.

Learning Objectives: The learner will be able to

Keywords: Maternal Morbidity, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

The Fourth Annual Outstanding Student Papers in Maternal and Child Health Showcase

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA