Postpartum depressive mood (PDM) among Chinese women: a meta-analysis

  • Ting-Yu Mu
  • Yu-Hong LiEmail author
  • Hai-Feng Pan
  • Liu Zhang
  • Da-Hui Zha
  • Cheng-Lu Zhang
  • Ri-Xiang Xu
Original Article


Postpartum depression is a common complication of childbearing and up to 12 months postpartum. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of postpartum depressive mood (PDM) in China by performing a meta-analysis of published studies. Studies that reported the prevalence of PDM in China were identified by searching the PubMed, Embase, CNKI, and CQVIP databases. Three thousand, one hundred, and two articles were obtained, and after careful evaluation, 26 studies were finally included in the meta-analysis. The combined studies included a total of 7618 cases with 1621 cases of PDM. The studies were assessed on the basis of heterogeneity testing and the potential for publication bias. Stata software 11.0 was used to perform the meta-analysis. The random-effect model showed that the prevalence of PDM was 21% with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 17–25%. PDM was the highest 0 to 1.5 months after delivery. PDM levels decreased to 10.4% (95% CI 9.7–11.1%, P < 0.001) after publication bias were corrected. Sensitivity analyses evaluated the stability of our results and showed no significant change when any single study was excluded. Subgroup analyses showed that region, instruments used, cut-off score, and time points for depression assessment were positively associated with PDM prevalence. The prevalence of PDM differed among regions, with South Central China and East China exhibiting the lowest prevalence. The prevalence was higher in regions with poor economic development, suggesting that more attention should be devoted to Southwest and North China and that the prevalence of PDM should be evaluated 0 to 1.5 months after delivery.


Postpartum Depression Mood Meta-analysis EPDS SDS 


Funding information

This research was funded by the Natural Science Research Key Project of Education Department of Anhui Provincial Government, China (Project number: KJ2017A191).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ting-Yu Mu
    • 1
  • Yu-Hong Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hai-Feng Pan
    • 2
  • Liu Zhang
    • 1
  • Da-Hui Zha
    • 1
  • Cheng-Lu Zhang
    • 1
  • Ri-Xiang Xu
    • 3
  1. 1.Nursing College of Anhui Medical UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of PharmacyAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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