Prevalence of Antenatal Depression in Women Enrolled in an Outreach Program in Canada

Authors

  • Angela Bowen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Angela Bowen, RN, is a PhD candidate in Community Health & Epidemiology in the College of Medicine and an assistant professor at the College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
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  • Nazeem Muhajarine

    1. Nazeem Muhajarine, PhD, is an associate professor in Community Health and Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
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Address for correspondence: Angela Bowen, RN, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, 103 Hospital Drive, Saskatoon, Canada SK S7N 0W8. E-mail: angela.bowen@usask.ca

Abstract

Objective:  To determine the prevalence of depression and its correlates in pregnancy and to establish the appropriateness of using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale with inner-city, high-risk pregnant women.

Design:  Convenience sample of women enrolled in a prenatal outreach program. Women were recruited and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was administered during home visits.

Participants:  39 women, most of whom were Aboriginal, participating in a prenatal outreach program.

Main Outcome Measure:  Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale score of ³10 suggests minor depressive symptoms and ³13 suggests probable major depression.

Results:  27% of women reported symptoms consistent with major depression. The Aboriginal women had higher levels of depressive symptoms than the non-Aboriginal women. Women who had stopped using tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy had more depressive symptoms than those who had quit before pregnancy. Acceptability of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for use with high-risk, Aboriginal, and non-Aboriginal pregnant women was supported.

Conclusions:  The prevalence of depressive symptoms and concurrent substance use within this population is a major public health problem. Nurses can incorporate the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale into routine prenatal visits to identify women at risk for depression. JOGNN, 35,491–498; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00064.x

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