Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 257–259 | Cite as

The course of anxiety and depressive symptoms in Nigerian postpartum women

  • A. O. Adewuya
  • O. T. Afolabi
Short communication


Postnatal depression is mostly studied within the first 12 weeks postpartum and postnatal anxiety neglected. Using the Zung’s self rating anxiety and depression scales in a repeated cross sectional study of postpartum women we found both anxiety and depressive symptoms more in first 8-weeks postpartum with a gradual decline in later postpartum period. Anxiety is more common than depression in the first 4-weeks with reversal of the trend subsequently. Both symptoms may persist till late postpartum period.

Keywords: Postnatal depression; postnatal anxiety; screening; prevalence; cross-culture. 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adewuya, AO, Eegunranti, AB, Lawal, AM 2005Prevalence of postnatal depression in Western Nigerian women: a controlled study.Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract96064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ballard, CG, Davis, R, Handy, S,  et al. 1993Postpartum anxiety in mothers and fathers.Eur J Psychiatry7117121Google Scholar
  3. Barnett, B, Parker, G 1986Possible determinants, correlates and consequences of high levels of anxiety in primiparous mothers.Psychol Med16177185PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyce, P, Stubbs, J, Todd, A 1993The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale: validation for an Australian sample.Aust N Z J Psychiatry27427476Google Scholar
  5. Cox, JL, Holden, JM, Sagovsky, R 1987Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.Br J Psychiatry150782786PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. De Armond, M 1954A type of postpartum anxiety reaction.Dis Nerv Syst152629PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Heron, J O’Connor, TG Evans, J Golding, J Glover, V The ALSPAC study Team2004The course of anxiety and depression throughout pregnancy and the postpartum in a community sample.J Affect Disord806573CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Jegede, RO 1976Psychometric properties of the Self Rating Depressive Scale.J Psychol932730PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Jegede, RO 1977Psychometric characteristics of the Self Rating Anxiety Scale.Psychol Rep40303306PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Jegede, RO 1979Psychometric characteristics of Yoruba Version of Zung’s Self Rating Depression Scale and Self Rating Anxiety Scale.Afr J Med Sci8133137Google Scholar
  11. Manassis, K, Bradley, S, Goldberg, S, Hood, J, Swinson, RP 1994Attachment to mothers with anxiety disorders and their children.J Am Acad Adolesc Psychiatry3311061113Google Scholar
  12. Matthey, S, Barnett, B, Howie, P, Kavanagh, DJ 2003Diagnosing postpartum depression in mothers and fathers: whatever happened to anxiety?J Affect Disord74139147CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. O’Hara, MW, Swain, AM 1996Rates and risk of postpartum depression – a meta-analysis.Int Rev Psychiatry83754Google Scholar
  14. Stuart, S, Couser, G, Schilder, K, O’Hara, MW, Gorman, L 1998Postpartum anxiety and depression: onset and comorbidity in a community sample.J Nerv Ment Dis186420424CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Uwakwe, R, Okonwo, JE 2003Affective (depressive) morbidity in puerperial Nigerian women: validation of the Edinburgh postnatal Depression Scale.Acta Psychiatr Scand107251259CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Wenzel, A, Haugen, EN, Jackson, LC, Robinson, K 2003Prevalence of generalised anxiety at eight weeks postpartum.Arch Womens Ment Health64349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Zung, WWK 1965A self rating depression scale.Arch Gen Psychiatry126370PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Zung, WWK 1971A rating instrument for anxiety disorder.Psychosomatics12371379PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. O. Adewuya
    • 1
  • O. T. Afolabi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mental HealthObafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Wesley Guild HospitalIlesaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Community HealthObafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals ComplexIle-IfeNigeria

Personalised recommendations