Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors of maternal depression and/or anxiety among women attending the primary health care facilities in El-Fayum city. Background Women suffering from depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy are at an increased risk for postpartum depression throughout the perinatal period. Patients and methods This study was a nested case-control cross-sectional survey conducted among women attending primary health care centers in El-Fayum city. Results The strongest risk factors of maternal depression and/or anxiety were presence of previous history of psychiatric illness (including antenatal and postnatal depression) to the woman or one of her family members, stressful life events or physical problems during pregnancy and early postpartum, and low levels of social support. History of abortion or miscarriage showed statistically significant results and was considered as an important risk factor (52% of the depressed cases had a previous history of abortion in comparison with controls). Logistic regression analysis was used to determine significant risk factors of maternal depression where the main risk factors for maternal depression and/or anxiety were history of abortion or miscarriage (odds ratio 4.1) and history of previous psychiatric illness (odds ratio 2.7) (including antenatal depression and postnatal depression). Conclusion Investigating perinatal stress and depression and identification of risk factors of these conditions may reduce the risk for postpartum chronic anxiety or undiagnosed depression.