Risk psychosocial factors associated with postpartum depression trajectories from birth to six months

Jonathan Eliahu Handelzalts*, Shay Ohayon, Sigal Levy, Yoav Peled

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the trajectory of women's depressive symptoms during the first six months postpartum, identify risk factors (sociodemographic, obstetric and personality) associated with classes, and examine associations between classes and postpartum PTSD at two months and bonding at six months. Methods: The final sample included 212 women who gave birth in the maternity wards of a large tertiary health center that were approached at 1–3 days, two months, and six months postpartum and completed a demographic questionnaire and measures of neuroticism (BFI) and postpartum depression (EPDS), postpartum PTSD (City Birth Trauma Scale) and bonding (PBQ). Obstetric data were taken from the medical files. Results: Cluster analysis revealed three distinctive clusters: "stable-low" (64.2%), "transient-decreasing" (25.9%), and "stable-high" (9.9%). Neuroticism, general-related PTSD symptoms, and bonding were associated with differences between all trajectories. Birth-related PTSD symptoms were associated with differences between both stable-high and transient-decreasing trajectories and the stable-low trajectory. No obstetric or demographic variables were associated with differences between trajectories. Conclusion: We suggest that screening women for vulnerabilities such as high levels of neuroticism and offering treatment can alleviate the possible deleterious effects of high-symptom depression trajectories that may be associated with their vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Bonding
  • Depression
  • Neuroticism
  • PTSD
  • Postpartum
  • Trajectories

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