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Arch Hellen Med, 38(3), May-June 2021, 360-366


Predictors of symptoms of depression during the early postpartum period in a sample of Greek rural women

V. Vivilaki,1 D. Charos,1 E. Maniatelli,2 C. Lionis3
1Department of Midwifery, University of West Attica, Athens
2Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, "Aretaieio" Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens
3School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

OBJECTIVE To investigate the prevalence of symptoms of depression during the early postpartum period in a rural sample of Greek mothers and identify associated factors.

METHOD A sample of 122 rural women was recruited from the perinatal care registers of the maternity departments of the four maternity hospitals (two public and two private) that serve the population of Heraklion, Crete. The participants were randomly selected by clinic or shift, and 92 completed all the study instruments. Risk factors (marital relationship, maternal attitudes/roles and cognitive influences) for depressive symptoms were measured by validated self-reported questionnaires. The mothers completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Sense of Coherence (SOC), the Maternal Adjustment and Maternal Attitudes (MAMA) and the Women Abuse Screening Tool (WAST) within the first week postpartum. The instruments were administered in random order from June 2015 to August 2015.

RESULTS On EPDS, 40.7% of the participants recorded a score of over 8/9. The scores on EPDS were closely correlated with those on WAST, MAMA and SOC. Hierarchical multivariate linear regression analysis showed that psychosocial factors collectively accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in the EPDS score (82.5%). The strongest predictors of postpartum depression were general psychosocial and clinical characteristics, including previous psychiatric history, insomnia, socioeconomic status, education, recent life events, gynecological problems, miscarriages, abortions, unwanted pregnancy, parity, pregnancy problems, gestational age and mode of delivery.

CONCLUSIONS Psychosocial characteristics, and specifically the marital relationship, maternal attitudes/roles and cognitive influences, are important predictors of depressive symptoms in Greek rural women during the early postpartum period.

Key words: Depressive symptoms, Postpartum, Predictors, Rural.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine