Details of Publication 654 for Project A176:

Chojenta C, Loxton D, Lucke J & Forder P. A longitudinal analysis of the predictors and antecedents of postnatal depression in Australian women. , 2013; : 16(S1)S111

Aims: The aim of this presentation is to explore the relationship between a range of psychological, health and social factors andInternational Marc Society Biennial General Scientific Meeting S111 postnatal depression (PND). In particular, both proximal and distal measures of factors were utilised in order to explore the associations between these factors and PND.Methods: Data were collected over a 13 year period from the 1973–78 Cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). A mixed model of predictors of PND was constructed using a range of measures including previous mental health conditions, history of stressful life events, physical health history, childbirth and reproductive history. Factors were assessed separately. Those factors that were observed to have a significant effect individually (p<0.0001 in univariate model) were then assessed in a multivariate model.Results: Of the 25 factors entered in to a multivariate model, nine factors remained significant in the final multivariate model. The strongest positive associations were for postnatal anxiety (OR=13.79, 95%CI=10.48 to 18.13) and antenatal depression (OR=9.23, 95%CI =6.10 to 13.97). A reverse relationship was found between PND and having a history of postnatal anxiety and antenatal anxiety.Conclusion: The results indicate that mental health history factors are the most important factor in predicting PND. Indeed the strongest relationship was between PND and postnatal anxiety – comorbidity of anxiety and depression is well documented, and results indicate that this relationship also exists in the postpartum period. Understanding a woman’s mental health history holds a very important role in the detection of those who are most vulnerable to PND. These findings also indicate that treatment and management of depression and anxiety earlier in life may have a positive impact on the incidence of PND.

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