Prevalence of postpartum depression at the clinic for obstetrics and gynecology in Kosovo teaching hospital: Demographic, obstetric and psychosocial risk factors

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2021 Jan:256:215-220. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.11.025. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


Introduction: Postpartum depression affects 10 up to 15 % of women of childbearing age in industrialized countries and presents significant public health problem which leads to short and long-term consequences for mother, child and her family. However, social determinants, including poverty, gender stereotypes, domestic violence, gender discrimination and cultural differences make this medical issue more problematic in less developed countries. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and risk factors of postpartum depression at the Clinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology in Pristina, Kosovo (a tertiary referral center).

Material and methods: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted from June 2019 to October 2019 at the Clinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology in Pristina, Kosovo. A total of 247 delivery women were screened for postpartum depression at 6 weeks following delivery using the Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Socio-demographic, obstetric and psychologic factors were tested as predictors of PPD using bivariate or multivariate logistic regression analysis (Logit model). Odds ratio (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals were calculated for each risk factor. The p values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

Results: The prevalence of PPD at the Clinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology in Kosovo teaching hospital was 21 % at 6 weeks following childbirth. The bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis identified four predictor variables for postpartum depression: pregnancy complications (OR 1.057; 95 % CI; 1.002-1.114 and P = 0.040); fear of childbirth (OR 1.121; 95 % CI; 1.057-1.190 and P = 0.00016); prenatal depression or anxiety (OR 1.088; 95 % CI; 1.032-1.147 and P = 0.0018); poor marital relation (OR 1.085, 95 % CI; 1.002-1.174 and P = 0.044). No statistically significant association was found between the postpartum depression (PPD) and maternal age, education, employment, family type, smoking, previous abortion, parity, household income, social support, child gender, birthweight, and breast feeding.

Conclusions: The high prevalence of postpartum depression in our setting and its known adverse effects on woman, infant and her family implies an urgent need for evidence-based interventions. Such interventions are needed to promote knowledge of perinatal mental illness and improve maternal mental health in particular in less developed countries. Future efforts should address early identification of high-risk women, assessment of risk factor during the antenatal period, early postpartum depression screening and timely therapeutic approaches, to improve social and psychological functioning of the woman.

Keywords: Anxiety; Cesarean birth; Postpartum depression; Pregnancy; Prenatal period.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Depression, Postpartum* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Kosovo / epidemiology
  • Obstetrics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors