Depressive symptoms in a sample of women following perinatal loss

J Natl Med Assoc. 2008 Dec;100(12):1463-8. doi: 10.1016/s0027-9684(15)31548-0.


Objective: The aim of the study is to identify variables associated with depressive symptoms among women shortly after perinatal loss.

Method: Respondents who agreed to participate in the study were interviewed, and sociodemographic data were obtained from them. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EDPS) were thereafter administered on each respondent.

Results: Respondents with perinatal loss had high rate of depressive symptoms (52% on EDPS), the rate was significantly higher, when compared with the control group (chi2 = 10.16, P=0.001). Factors significantly associated with depressive symptoms included previous perinatal losses, poor support from husband and occurrence of antenatal complications.

Conclusion: Depressive reaction following perinatal loss is very common. Programs need to be designed to help these women cope with their loss and to reduce subsequent psychological morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / mortality*
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Puerperal Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Stillbirth / psychology*