Identifying the support needs of fathers affected by post-partum depression: a pilot study

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2011 Feb;18(1):41-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2010.01627.x. Epub 2010 Sep 2.


The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the experiences, support needs, resources, and barriers to support for fathers whose partners had post-partum depression (PPD) in preparation for a larger study. Qualitative methods and community-based research approaches were used in this exploratory/descriptive multi-site study, conducted in New Brunswick and Alberta. Telephone interviews were conducted with a total of 11 fathers in New Brunswick (n= 7) and Alberta (n= 4). Fathers experienced a number of depressive symptoms including: anxiety, lack of time and energy, irritability, feeling sad or down, changes in appetite, and thoughts of harm to self or baby. The most common barriers for fathers were lack of information regarding PPD resources and difficulty seeking support. This pilot study establishes the feasibility of the larger-scale exploration of fathers' experiences in supporting their spouses affected by PPD.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Alberta
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / nursing
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression, Postpartum / nursing*
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • New Brunswick
  • Pilot Projects