Prevalence, continuation, and identification of postpartum depressive symptomatology among refugee, asylum-seeking, non-refugee immigrant, and Canadian-born women: results from a prospective cohort study
Dennis, C-L.; Merry, L.; Stewart, D.; Gagnon, AJ. (2016)
Archives of Women's Mental Health
19(6) | 959-967
This study assessed the prevalence, continuation, and identification of maternal depressive symptomatology over the first 16 weeks postpartum among refugee, asylum-seeking, non-refugee immigrant, and Canadian-born women. A sample of 1125 women (143 refugees, 369 asylum-seekers, 303 non-refugee immigrant, and 310 Canadian-born) completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 1 and 16 weeks postpartum. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive power of the 1-week EPDS to identify women with elevated EPDS scores at 16 weeks were determined. The total number of women with EPDS scores >9 for each group at 1 and 16 weeks, respectively, was 26.6 and 18.2 % for refugees; 25.2 and 24.1 % for asylum-seekers; 22.4 and 14.2 % for non-refugee immigrants, and 14.8 and 7.4 % for Canadian-born. Using the cut-off score of 9/10, the 1-week EPDS accurately classified 77.6 % refugee, 73.4 % asylum-seeking, 76.6 % non-refugee immigrant, and 85.5 % Canadian-born women at 16 weeks with or without postpartum depressive symptomatology. The 1-week EPDS was significantly correlated to the 16-week EPDS (r = 0.46, p < 0.01). All groups were significantly more likely to exhibit depressive symptomatology at 16 weeks if they had EPDS scores >9 at 1 week postpartum: refugees (OR = 6.9, 95 % CI = 2.8–17.3), asylum-seekers (OR = 4.0, 95 % CI = 2.4–6.7), non-refugee immigrants (OR = 3.8, 95 % CI = 2.0–7.6), and Canadian-born women (OR = 8.0, 95 % CI = 3.3–19.8). Our findings suggest that refugee, asylum-seeking, non-refugee immigrant, and Canadian-born women at risk of postpartum depression may be identified early in the postpartum period such that secondary preventive interventions may be implemented.