Is paternal postpartum depression associated with maternal postpartum depression? Population-based study in Brazil

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2006 Mar;113(3):230-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2005.00708.x.


Objective: To describe the prevalence of paternal postpartum depression (PPD) as well as its association with maternal PPD.

Method: A population-based random sample of 386 couples was assessed from the sixth to the 12th week postpartum for demographic characteristics, alcohol misuse (AUDIT) and depressive symptoms [Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)]. Logistic regression was employed to control for potential confounders.

Results: In the BDI, 26.3% of mothers and 11.9% of fathers scored above the selected threshold of 10. Mild maternal depression [odds ratio (OR) 3.31, 95% CI 1.52-7.20] and moderate to severe maternal depression (OR 8.44, 95% CI 3.53-20.21) were associated with paternal PPD.

Conclusion: Paternal PPD is a clinically meaningful phenomenon. Fathers should be evaluated for mood disorders in the postpartum, especially when their partner is depressed.

MeSH terms

  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Fathers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data