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Socioeconomic status and depression during and after pregnancy in the Franconian Maternal Health Evaluation Studies (FRAMES)



Depression during and after pregnancy can have a negative impact on women’s quality of life and on the development of the newborn child. Interventions have been shown to have a positive influence on both mothers and children. Predictive factors for depressive symptoms might possibly be able to identify groups that are at high risk. The aim of this study was to investigate the value of socioeconomic factors in predicting depressive symptoms during and after pregnancy.


Depressiveness was measured using the German version of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at three time-points, in a prospective cohort study (n = 1,100). Visit 1 (Q1) was at study entry in the third trimester of the pregnancy, visit 2 (Q2) was shortly after birth, and visit 3 (Q3) was 6–8 months after birth. Depression scores were associated with socioeconomic factors and time in linear mixed models.


Parity status, education status, monthly income, residential property status, and partnership status, as well as interactions between them, were found to be predictive factors for EPDS scores. The strongest factor influencing depressive symptoms was partnership status. Women who did not have an intact partnership had EPDS scores that were on average four points higher than in women with a partner at all three study visits (P < 0.000001).


Socioeconomic factors define subgroups that have different depression scores during and after pregnancy. Partnership status appears to be one of the most important influencing factors and could be useful for identifying women who should be offered an intervention to prevent possible negative effects on the mother or child.

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Correspondence to Peter A. Fasching.

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Hein, A., Rauh, C., Engel, A. et al. Socioeconomic status and depression during and after pregnancy in the Franconian Maternal Health Evaluation Studies (FRAMES). Arch Gynecol Obstet 289, 755–763 (2014).

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  • Pregnancy
  • Depression
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Prediction