Profile of depressive symptoms in women in the perinatal and outside the perinatal period: similar or not?

A. T. Pereira*, M. Marques, M. J. Soares, B. R. Maia, S. Bos, J. Valente, V. Nogueira, C. Roque, N. Madeira, A. Macedo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To analyze which Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and Postpartum Depression Screening Scores (PDSS) total and dimensional scores, as well as symptomatic answers proportions significantly differ between women in the perinatal period (pregnant/postpartum) without major depression, with major depression and women outside the perinatal period. Methods 572 pregnant women in the third trimester completed Beck Depression Inventory-II and Postpartum Depression Screening Scale and were assessed with the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies. 417 of these were also assessed (with the same instruments) at three months postpartum. Ninety non-pregnant women or that did not have a child in the last year (mean age=29.42±7.159 years) also filled in the questionnaires. Results Non-depressed pregnant women showed lower scores than depressed pregnant women and higher scores than women outside the perinatal period in the BDI-II total score and in its Somatic-Anxiety dimension. Non-depressed postpartum women showed significantly higher scores than women outside the perinatal period only at Sleep/Eating Disturbances. Compared to women outside the perinatal period, pregnant women without depression presented higher scores only in the somatic items. Women with vs. without depression in the postpartum period did not significantly differ and both presented higher scores than women outside the perinatal period in the proportions of loss of energy and sleep changes. Limitations Women outside the perinatal period were not diagnosed for the presence of a depressive disorder, but their BDI-II mean score was similar to the figures reported worldwide regarding women in childbearing age. Conclusion In the perinatal period, most particularly at pregnancy, women experience significant somatic changes even if not clinically depressed. Cognitive-affective symptoms are more useful when assessing the presence of perinatal depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Non-perinatal women
  • Perinatal women

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