Paternal prenatal and post-partum depression

January 01, 0001

Paternal prenatal and post-partum depression

Post-partum maternal depression is a well known phenomenon that garners both medical and lay press. These US investigators sought to describe rates of paternal prenatal and postpartum depression over time and its association with maternal depression. They performed a systematic review for studies documenting paternal depression MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Google Scholar, dissertation abstracts, and reference lists for the period between January 1980 and October 2009 yielding a total of 43 studies involving 28 004 participants.

The authors found: "Substantial heterogeneity was observed among rates of paternal depression, with a meta-estimate of 10.4%. Higher rates of depression were reported during the 3- to 6-month postpartum period (25.6%). The correlation between paternal and maternal depression was positive and moderate in size (r = 0.308). No evidence of significant publication bias was detected."

The authors concluded: "Prenatal and postpartum depression was evident in about 10% of men in the reviewed studies and was relatively higher in the 3- to 6-month postpartum period. Paternal depression also showed a moderate positive correlation with maternal depression."

This study provides some basic description of perinatal and post-partum depression in fathers, which is a phenomenon that has not received much attention to date.

For the full abstract, click here.

JAMA 303(19):1961-1969, 19 May 2010
© 2010 the American Medical Association
Prenatal and Postpartum Depression in Fathers and Its Association With Maternal Depression: A Meta-analysis. James F. Paulson, Sharnail D. Bazemore.

Category: P. Psychological. Keywords: paternal depression, fathers, prenatal depression, post-partum depression, maternal depression, systematic review and meta-analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 11 June 2010

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