Background: In some periods of a woman's life the risk of depression increases and the postnatal period is one of these. The prevalence and the risk factors of postnatal depression are not systematically studied in Turkey. The aim of this study is to investigate the epidemiological aspects and the cultural factors that may affect postnatal depression in our country.
Method: According to the records of ten primary health care centres in Manisa, a city in western Turkey, there were 1,337 women who had given birth in the previous 6 months. A sample group of 317 mothers were randomised among these women and 257 (81.7%) of the sample group could be reached. Data were collected by use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and a questionnaire on sociodemographic variables designed for this study.
Results: The mean depression score was found to be 7.54 +/- 4.66. When the cut-off point was taken into consideration, 14% of mothers had a syndromal depression. The factors which affected the prevalence of depression were the number of living children, living in a shanty, being an immigrant, serious health problems in the baby, previous psychiatric history, psychiatric disorder in the spouse, and having bad relations with the spouse and his parents.
Conclusion: These findings revealed that the prevalence of postnatal depression in the Manisa province and the factors affecting it were very similar to other studies; but the negative impact of bad relations of the mother with her family-in-law on postnatal depression seems to be a distinguishing aspect of Turkish culture.