Symptoms associated with the DSM IV diagnosis of depression in pregnancy and post partum

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2009 Jun;12(3):135-41. doi: 10.1007/s00737-009-0062-9. Epub 2009 Apr 1.


Pregnancy and the postpartum may affect symptoms of depression. However it has not yet been tested how the symptoms used for the DSM IV diagnosis of depression discriminate depressed from non depressed women perinatally. A modified version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV (SCID interview) was used that allowed assessment of all associated DSM IV symptoms of depression with depressed and non depressed women in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Loss of appetite was not associated with depression either ante or postnatally. The antenatal symptom pattern was different from the postnatal. The sensitivity of the symptoms ranged from 0.7% to 51.6%, and specificity from 61.3% to 99.1%. The best discriminating symptoms were motor retardation/agitation and concentration antenatally, and motor retardation/agitation, concentration and fatigue postnatally. Depression in pregnancy and postpartum depression show significantly different symptom profiles. Appetite is not suitable for the diagnosis of depression in the perinatal period.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Life Change Events
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology*
  • Postpartum Period / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Young Adult