Longitudinal study of depression and health status in pregnant women: incidence, course and predictive factors

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of isolated psychological intimate partner violence and psychosocial factors (social support and alcohol or drug use by a partner/family member) on psychological well-being (depression or poor self-perceived health status) at 5 and 12 months post-partum. A longitudinal cohort study was carried out with a consecutive sample of 1,400 women in their first trimester of pregnancy, who attended the prenatal programme in the Valencia Region (Spain) in 2008 and were followed up at 5 months and 12 months post-partum. A logistic regression model was fitted using generalized estimating equations, to assess the effect of isolated psychological intimate partner violence, social support, alcohol consumption and illicit drug use problems by a partner or family member on subsequent psychological well-being at follow-up. We observed a decrease in the incidence of poorer psychological well-being (post-partum depression and poor self-perceived health status) at 12 months post-partum. The strongest predictor of poor psychological well-being was depression (AOR = 6.83, 95 % CI: 3.44–13.58) or poor self-perceived health status (AOR = 5.34, 95 % CI: 2.37–12.02) during pregnancy. Isolated psychological IPV increased the risk of a deterioration in psychological well-being. Having a tangible social network was also a predictor of both post-partum depression and poor self-perceived health status. The effect of functional social support varied according to the type of psychological well-being indicator being used. Problems of alcohol consumption or illicit drug use by a partner or family member were a predictor of post-partum depression only. Psychological well-being during the first year after birth is highly affected by isolated psychological IPV and psychosocial factors.