ABSTRACT Objective: To explore the prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) and potential risk factors giving rise to PPD among Turkish women.
Design: A descriptive design and random survey method were used.
Sample: Collected from 9 public health centers, the sample consisted of 679 mothers within their first year after delivery.
Measurements: The Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) and a risk factor questionnaire were used during home visits.
Results: The EPDS results revealed a 25.6% prevalence of higher-level depression (12 or above) and a 16.7% prevalence of lower-level depression. Maximum prevalence occurred at 2, 8, 10, and 12 months postpartum. Seventeen independent variables were found to be associated with the elevated scores on EPDS. Strong predictors of depression were as follows: previous psychiatric illness (odds ratio [OR] 15.95); smoking (OR 4.17); lower economic status (OR 4.10); relationship problems with husband (OR 3.49) or mother-in-law (OR 2.53); dissatisfaction in social relations (OR 1.53); previous loss of a baby (OR 7.49); and giving birth to a baby girl (OR 2.54).
Conclusions: PPD is common among Turkish women. There is an increased need to educate public and health care practitioners about PPD. Public health nursing interventions, in particular, need to be developed to provide support to postpartum women.