Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 107–114 | Cite as

Violence as a risk factor for postpartum depression in mothers: a meta-analysis

  • Qian Wu
  • Hong-Lin Chen
  • Xu-Juan Xu
Original Article


The objective of this paper is to examine the association between violence and postpartum depression (PPD). The data sources of this study are: Web of Science, PubMed, Elsevier, Springer Link were examined from their start date through July1, 2011. “Violence”, “domestic violence”, “physical violence”, “sexual violence”, “domestic violence”, “postpartum depression”, “postnatal depression”, and “puerperal depression” were some of the terms included in the purview of MeSH terms. Relevant studies from reference lists were also scanned. Studies examining the association between violence and postpartum depression have been included. A total of 679 studies were included in this screening. Essential information of these included studies was independently extracted by two raters. Newcastle–Ottawa scale was used to assess the clinical data of these research studies. Random-effects model was chosen in this meta-analysis for maintaining significant heterogeneity. Publication bias was evaluated with the help of a funnel plot. Six studies involving 3,950 participants were included in this clinical study. Violence was one of the factors responsible for PPD [OR = 3.47; 95% confidence interval (CI; 2.13–5.64)]. Significant heterogenity was found in this meta-analysis (P < 0.00001; I 2 = 79%)and publication bias was detected through a funnel plot. A sensitivity analysis of 3.00, 95%CI (2.44–3.68), p < 0.00001 indicated that our findings were robust and reliable. Our meta-analysis indicated a positive correlation between violence and PPD. In women of reproductive age, PPD induced through violence can be prevented through early identification. In addition, due to heterogeneity and wide CIs in this meta-analysis, further research is evidently required.


Violence Postpartum depression Meta-analysis 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nursing school of Nantong UniversityNantongPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Affiliated Hospital of Nantong UniversityNantong CityPeople’s Republic of China

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