Health-related quality of life in postpartum depressed women

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2006 Mar;9(2):95-102. doi: 10.1007/s00737-005-0108-6. Epub 2005 Oct 18.


The objectives of this study were a) to evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among women with postpartum depression, b) examine the association between severity of depressive symptoms and level of impairment in physical and mental HRQoL and c) to identify contributors to physical and mental HRQoL. Seventy-eight women scoring > or =10 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale completed the questionnaires measuring: HRQoL (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form SF-36), sleep quality, life stress, and social support. All women underwent a cardiovascular stress test to determine aerobic capacity. Compared to Canadian normative data, women experiencing postpartum depressed mood scored significantly lower on all SF-36 domains, as well as on the SF-36 physical and mental component summary score. Severity of depressed mood was not associated to worse physical health status, while poorer aerobic capacity emerged as a significant independent contributor of physical health status. Severity of depressed mood contributed to worse mental health status. After controlling for severity of depressed mood, the occurrence of pregnancy complications, cesarean delivery, poorer sleep quality, life stress, and less social support predicted poorer mental health status.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Postnatal Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires