Functional Status Outcomes in Mothers With and Without Postpartum Depression


  • Bobbie Posmontier CNM, PhD

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      Bobbie Posmontier, CNM, PhD, 32 N Lincoln Ave., Newtown, PA 18940. E-mail:
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    • Bobbie Posmontier, CNM, PhD, is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Health Disparities Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Bobbie Posmontier, CNM, PhD, 32 N Lincoln Ave., Newtown, PA 18940. E-mail:


Our objective was to compare functional status between women with and without postpartum depression (PPD). A two-group cross-sectional design compared functional status between 23 women with and 23 women without PPD. Participants were 6 to 26 weeks postpartum and from obstetric practices in the northeastern United States. Structured clinical interviews were used to establish diagnoses of PPD. Participants were matched on type of delivery, weeks postpartum, and parity. Participants compared current functioning to prepregnancy functioning using the Inventory of Functional Status After Childbirth. The Postpartum Depression Screening Scale was used to measure PPD severity. Hierarchical multiple and logistic regression models were used to analyze data. We found that after controlling for infant gender, number of nighttime infant awakenings, and income, PPD predicted lower personal (P < .001), household (P < .05), and social functioning (P < .001), but no difference in infant care. Women with PPD were 12 times less likely to achieve prepregnancy functional levels. We conclude that interventions are needed to address household, social, and personal functioning in women with PPD. Clinicians may find functional assessment is a useful adjunct and a less threatening way to screen and monitor treatment for PPD.