, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 43-49

Prevalence of generalized anxiety at eight weeks postpartum

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Objective: This study investigated the prevalence and nature of generalized anxiety symptoms in women who were eight weeks postpartum.

Method: A community-based sample of 68 postpartum women completed an interview assessing generalized anxiety disorder and depression and a self-report measure of worry associated with concerns relevant to postpartum women.

Results: Three women (4.4%) met DSM-IV criteria for generalized anxiety disorder, and an additional 19 women (27.9%) endorsed subsyndromal difficulties with generalized anxiety. Approximately one third of these women endorsed symptoms of depression. In contrast, only two woman met criteria for major depressive disorder.

Conclusion: Postpartum generalized anxiety has a higher prevalence than postpartum depression.

Received February 26, 2002; accepted November 11, 2002 Published online January 31, 2003
Acknowledgement This work was supported by a New Faculty Scholar Award and a Graduate Research Fellowship from the University of North Dakota. The authors would like to express their appreciation to Jennifer Brendle, Peter Schmutzer, Talia Tweten, and Chad Lystad for their assistance with this research.
Correspondence: Amy Wenzel, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8380, U.S.A.; e-mail: amy_wenzel@und.nodak.edu