Social support and symptoms of postpartum depression among new mothers in Eastern Turkey


Dr Emel Ege, Selcuk Universitesi, Konya SaglikYuksekokulu, Selcuklu/Konya, Turkey 42079. Email:


Aim:  The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between symptoms of postpartum depression and social support in new mothers in a semi-rural province (Malatya) of Eastern Turkey.

Methods:  This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study. The study was conducted with a 12-item Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) questionnaire, a 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) questionnaire, and a 16-item demographic/obstetric questionnaire designed by the authors. 364 women who were between 6 to 48 weeks postpartum were included in the study.

Results:  Symptoms of postpartum depression were negatively correlated with social support (−0.39, P = 0.000). The frequency of the prevalence of symptoms of postpartum depression was 33.2%. The study showed that EPDS mean score was related to several factors, including age, woman's education, woman's occupation, socioeconomic status of family, spouse's education, number of years married, parity, planned pregnancy, method of delivery, knowledge of infant care, sharing of problems with a close person, past psychiatric history and family support during the postnatal period in an Eastern province of Turkey.

Conclusion:  Symptoms of postpartum depression were negatively correlated among Turkish women living in the Malatya province of Eastern Turkey and were associated with the level of social support. The prevalence of postpartum depression was higher than in the published reports regarding most regions of Turkey, with the exception of Northeastern Turkey.