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Postpartum Anxiety and Depression: Onset and Comorbidity in a Community Sample

STUART, SCOTT M.D.1; COUSER, GREG B.A.1; SCHILDER, KELLY B.A.2; O'HARA, MICHAEL W. Ph.D.3; GORMAN, LORI Ph.D.3

The Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: July 1998 - Volume 186 - Issue 7 - p 420-424
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A community-based sample of 107 women completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale at 14 weeks postpartum and at 30 weeks postpartum. The point prevalence of anxiety was 8.7% at 14 weeks and 16.8% at 30 weeks postpartum. The point prevalence of depression was 23.3% at 14 weeks and 18.7% at 30 weeks postpartum. The incidence of anxiety during this time period was 10.28%, and the incidence of depression was 7.48%, indicating high incidences of both postpartum anxiety and depression later in the postpartum period. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was found to have a strong correlation with the State Anxiety Scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (r = .73 at 14 weeks, r = .82 at 30 weeks), suggesting that the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale may be a good screening instrument for anxiety as well as depression.

1Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242. Send reprint requests to Dr. Stuart.

2Iowa State University, Department of Psychology, Ames, Iowa.

3Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

© Williams & Wilkins 1998. All Rights Reserved.