Prevalence and psychosocial correlates of perinatal depression: a cohort study from urban Pakistan

  • Nusrat Husain
  • Asia ParveenEmail author
  • Meher Husain
  • Qamar Saeed
  • Farhat Jafri
  • Raza Rahman
  • Barbara Tomenson
  • Imran B. Chaudhry
Original Article


Depression around childbirth is common in low income countries. The aim of this study was to examine the factors associated with persistence of depression from the antenatal to the postnatal period in urban Pakistan. A total of 1,357 pregnant women in their third trimester attending the antenatal clinic were included in the study. From these, 763 mothers who delivered at the study maternity home were reassessed after 3 months of childbirth. Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was administered to measure depression in both the antenatal and the postnatal periods. Psychological distress, disability and life events experienced by mothers were also measured by using the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20), Brief Disability Questionnaire (BDQ), and Life Events Checklist, respectively. We found 25.8% prevalence rate of antenatal depression and 38.3% persistent depression in a private clinic. Persistently depressed mothers had significantly high psychological distress, more disability, and experienced more stressful life events than the resolved group. Our findings confirm the high rates of depression during pregnancy but we found low rates of persistent depression in this urban population as compared to the previous report. There is a need for further investigation of factors associated with persistent depression in order to develop appropriate interventions.


Persistent Antenatal depression Prevalence Low income countries 



We would like to thank: the Pakistan Institute of Learning & Living for funding this study, Mr. Mian Muhammad Anees, Senior Trustee of the Chiniot Maternity Centre, for his support, all the staff at the Chiniot Maternity Centre, all the participants in the study, Miss Rubina Ameen for helping in data collection and Mr. Sami Ansari for undertaking data entry.

Conflict of interest

N. Husain and I.B. Chaudhry have received support for educational programs and/or travel support and/or speaker fees from Astra Zeneca, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol, Myers Squibb, Janssen Cilag and Wyeth.

All other authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nusrat Husain
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Asia Parveen
    • 3
    Email author
  • Meher Husain
    • 2
  • Qamar Saeed
    • 4
  • Farhat Jafri
    • 5
  • Raza Rahman
    • 6
  • Barbara Tomenson
    • 1
  • Imran B. Chaudhry
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Lancashire Care NHS Foundation TrustLancashireUK
  3. 3.Pakistan Institute of Learning & LivingKarachiPakistan
  4. 4.Chiniot Maternity HomeKarachiPakistan
  5. 5.Karachi Medical and Dental CollegeKarachiPakistan
  6. 6.Dow University of Health SciencesKarachiPakistan

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