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ABSTRACT

Objective

To synthesize the extant literature on the prevalence, phenomenology, etiology and treatment of postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A discussion of differential diagnosis between postpartum OCD and other postpartum psychiatric conditions (e.g., depression, psychosis) and nonpostpartum-onset OCD is provided.

Data Sources, Study Selection and Data extraction

All studies addressing postpartum OCD between the years 1950 and 2011 were reviewed. Data from all pertinent studies was explored as it related to postpartum OCD.

Data Synthesis

Studies were organized based on their empirical technique (e.g., retrospective, prospective), population studied (e.g., clinical OCD, nonclinical populations, males), and etiological or treatment theory (e.g., cognitive-behavioral).

Conclusion

The prevalence, phenomenology, etiology, and treatment of postpartum OCD are reviewed. The limited data on treatment approaches and outcomes for postpartum OCD are highlighted with a discussion of the role of nurses in the prevention and identification of postpartum OCD.