An integrative review of paternal depression

Am J Mens Health. 2015 Jan;9(1):26-34. doi: 10.1177/1557988314526614. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


The aim of this project was to review current research regarding postnatal depression in fathers and to present potential screening and referral options. The search was limited to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals and all articles were retrieved with date limits. Initial search parameters were the following: antenatal depression OR pregnancy depression OR postnatal depression OR perinatal depression AND father* OR men OR paternal. The search yielded 311 abstracts returned. With reference to the inclusion criteria and primary and secondary outcomes intended for the focus of this review, N=63 articles were retrieved and read in full by the researchers. These articles were included in the final integrative review. Depression in fathers following the birth of their child was associated with a personal history of depression and with the existence of depression in their partner during pregnancy and soon after delivery. Based on the review the authors suggest routine screening and assessment of both parents should occur across the pregnancy and postnatal period. The use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for screening of depression in men needs to be linked to referral guidelines for those individuals who require further investigation and care.

Keywords: depression; father; paternal; postnatal; pregnancy; screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression* / diagnosis
  • Depression* / epidemiology
  • Depression* / etiology
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postpartum Period
  • Risk Factors