Introduction: Perinatal depression (PD) is a cluster of clinical depressive symptoms occurring globally during pregnancy or after childbirth, with a prevalence of 11.9%. Risk factors for PD among pregnant women may include personality traits of neuroticism, low personal resilience, higher anxiety, avoidance in close relationships, as well as dysfunctional coping strategies. Methods: We report on descriptive findings of a screening/prevention program aimed to detect depressive symptoms and associated risk factors in a large sample of women (N = 1,664) accessing the gynecological departments of the Regione Puglia (South of Italy) from July to November 2020. Pregnant women were assessed in their third trimester of pregnancy (T0), after childbirth (T1), and those at risk for PD within 1 year from delivery (T2–T4); The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) has been employed for the screening of PD over time as well as other standardized measures for neuroticism, resilience, coping strategies, and quality of life. Results: Of 1,664, n = 1,541 were tested at T1, and 131 scored ≥ 12 at EPDS (14.6 ± 2.95), showing a higher risk for PD. They were followed over time at 1, 6, and 12 months after childbirth (T2–T4), and 15 of them scored ≥ 12 (EPDS) at T4. Women with a higher risk of PD also reported higher levels of neuroticism, lower levels of personal resilience, more anxiety and avoidance in close relationships, higher employment of dysfunctional coping strategies (e.g., denial, self-blame, etc.), and lower quality of life (0.0008 < all p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study confirmed the benefit of screening programs for the early detection of PD among pregnant women. We may suggest a set of risk factors to be considered in the clinical assessment of PD risk as well as the promotion of similar programs to improve depressive outcomes and pathways to care for PD on the basis of a more accurate assessment and referral.

Perinatal depression screening and prevention: Descriptive findings from a multicentric program in the South of Italy

Bellomo A.;Severo M.;Petito A.;Nappi L.;Iuso S.;Altamura M.;Giannaccari E.;Sannicandro V.;Milano E.;Arcidiacono G.;Di Salvatore M.;Ventriglio A.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Introduction: Perinatal depression (PD) is a cluster of clinical depressive symptoms occurring globally during pregnancy or after childbirth, with a prevalence of 11.9%. Risk factors for PD among pregnant women may include personality traits of neuroticism, low personal resilience, higher anxiety, avoidance in close relationships, as well as dysfunctional coping strategies. Methods: We report on descriptive findings of a screening/prevention program aimed to detect depressive symptoms and associated risk factors in a large sample of women (N = 1,664) accessing the gynecological departments of the Regione Puglia (South of Italy) from July to November 2020. Pregnant women were assessed in their third trimester of pregnancy (T0), after childbirth (T1), and those at risk for PD within 1 year from delivery (T2–T4); The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) has been employed for the screening of PD over time as well as other standardized measures for neuroticism, resilience, coping strategies, and quality of life. Results: Of 1,664, n = 1,541 were tested at T1, and 131 scored ≥ 12 at EPDS (14.6 ± 2.95), showing a higher risk for PD. They were followed over time at 1, 6, and 12 months after childbirth (T2–T4), and 15 of them scored ≥ 12 (EPDS) at T4. Women with a higher risk of PD also reported higher levels of neuroticism, lower levels of personal resilience, more anxiety and avoidance in close relationships, higher employment of dysfunctional coping strategies (e.g., denial, self-blame, etc.), and lower quality of life (0.0008 < all p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study confirmed the benefit of screening programs for the early detection of PD among pregnant women. We may suggest a set of risk factors to be considered in the clinical assessment of PD risk as well as the promotion of similar programs to improve depressive outcomes and pathways to care for PD on the basis of a more accurate assessment and referral.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/424988
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