Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 49–55 | Cite as

Posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among new mothers at 8 months later of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China

  • Zhiyong Qu
  • Xiaohua Wang
  • Donghua Tian
  • You Zhao
  • Qin Zhang
  • Huan He
  • Xiulan Zhang
  • Fan Xu
  • Suran Guo
Original Article


On May 12, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck China's southwestern Sichuan province. Recent studies have identified mental health problems among the survivors, but little is known about the impact of the Sichuan earthquake on the mental health of new mothers in the area. The main objective was to assess the impact of the Sichuan earthquake on the posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and depression of new mothers. A total of 317 new mothers were interviewed in the hospital from January 2009 to March 2009. Symptoms of PTSD were measured using the impact of event scale-revised, and symptoms of postpartum depression were measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. The prevalence rates of PTSD and postpartum depression were 19.9% and 29.0%, respectively. Women with high earthquake exposure had higher risks of PTSD (odds ratio (OR), 5.91; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.75–19.97; P < 0.001) and postpartum depression (OR, 7.28; 95% CI, 2.51–21.08; P < 0.001) than women without earthquake experience. In addition, women with low monthly family income and farm workers had a higher risk of having PTSD; women who were unemployed or with lower monthly family income and poor sleep had a higher risk of having depression. Earthquake experience increased the risks of having PTSD and depression among new mothers at 8 months later of the earthquake.


PTSD Depression New mother Earthquake 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiyong Qu
    • 1
  • Xiaohua Wang
    • 1
  • Donghua Tian
    • 1
  • You Zhao
    • 2
  • Qin Zhang
    • 3
  • Huan He
    • 1
    • 4
  • Xiulan Zhang
    • 1
  • Fan Xu
    • 1
  • Suran Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social Development and Public Policy, China Institute of HealthBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Mianyang Maternal and Child Health HospitalMianyangChina
  3. 3.MianZhu People’s HospitalMianzhuChina
  4. 4.Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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