A study of postpartum depression in a fast developing country: Prevalence and related factors

Abdulbari Bener, F. Burgut, Suheila Ghuloum, Javaid Sheikh

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Depression is a common and disabling complication of postpartum women. There is a paucity of research on postpartum depressive disorders and their predictors in women from Arab countries. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and identify risk factors of postpartum depression among Arab women in Qatar using Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale Score (EPDS). Design: This is a prospective cross-sectional study conducted during the period from January 2010 to May 2011. Setting: Primary healthcare centers of the Supreme Council of Health, State of Qatar. Subjects: A representative sample of 1669 mothers within 6 months after delivery were approached and 1379 (82.6%) mothers participated in this study. Methods: The study was based on a face-to-face interview with a designed diagnostic screening questionnaire. Occurrence of postpartum depressive symptoms was assessed by the EPDS. Also, socio-demographic characteristics, medical and family history, and obstetric variables of patients were collected through a designed questionnaire. The diagnostic screening questionnaire was reviewed and calculated the final score which identified the risk cases. Results: The prevalence of postpartum depression among the study sample was 17.6%. Mothers of age above 35 years (49.9% vs. 39.2%; p < 0 .001), low education below intermediate level (51% vs. 35.8%; p < 0.001), housewives (38.7% vs. 29%; p = 0.03), with low monthly income (QR 5000-9999) (43.2% vs. 32.2%; p < 0.001) were significantly at high risk for postpartum depression. Maternal complications (38.7% vs. 26.1%; p < 0.001) and caesarean section (36.2% vs. 28.8%; p = 0.022) were significantly higher among depressed mothers compared to non-depressed women. Financial difficulties (OR = 2.04; p < 0.001), prematurity (OR = 1.64; p = 0.025), poor family support (OR = 1.52; p = 0.016), dissatisfaction in marital life (OR = 1.26; p = 0.005), poor marital relationship (OR = 1.13; p = 0.05) were the main predictors of postpartum depression. Conclusion: This prevalence of postpartum depression in women living in Qatar was comparable to previous epidemiological research done in developing countries. Financial difficulties, prematurity, lack of family support, and poor marital relationships have been identified as main risk factors for developing postpartum depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012



  • Depression
  • Obstetric risks
  • postpartum
  • Prevalence
  • Qatar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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