[Protective factors for postpartum depression]

Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2013;59(4):391-407.
[Article in German]


Objectives: This article examines the associations between protective factors und the occurrence of postpartum depressive symptoms.

Methods: Using a prospective-longitudinal design 303 pregnant women were examined at 3 points in time (T1: 1st trimester, T2: 3rd trimester, T3: 3-5 months postpartum). The analyses are based on T1 and T3.

Results: Sense of coherence (SOC-L9, Schumacher et al. 2000) at 1st trimester was on average 51.7 (SD = 7.2) - significantly above the mean of a comparison sample. 37 women (15.4 %) had a score of 10 or more on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS, Cox et al. 1987) 3 to 5 months postpartum. Pregnant women who stated that their pregnancy had been planned and desired, with a higher marital and overall life satisfaction as well as a higher sense of coherence, had a significantly lower risk for the development of postpartum depression. Using multiple regression it was found that only sense of coherence significantly predicted postpartum depression.

Conclusions: The results suggest that a higher sense of coherence at first trimester is an important protective factor for the occurrence of postpartum depression.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Marriage
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk Factors
  • Sense of Coherence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires