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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2013 March;54(1):41-58

language: English, Italian

Postnatal depression and prevention: effects of a psychoeducational intervention

Cussino M., Zaccagnino M., Di Fini G., Veglia F.

Department of Psychology, Turin University, Turin, Italy


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Aim: This research aims to investigate the impact of the participation in psychoeducational intervention intending to provide accurate information about the discomfort in the postpartum period on perinatal women and their partners. It also aims to identify the prevalence of depressive symptoms during the perinatal period and to analyze the role of perceived support with respect to depressive symptoms.
Methods: Responses of a sample of 101 women and their partners to a series of questionnaires, including EPDS and EPDS-P, were compared between two groups: an experimental group which participated in a preventive psychoeducational intervention and a control group.
Results: The prevalence of women who exceeded the cut-off of EPDS is 21.8% before the childbirth and 17.8% in the postpartum period. This result is slightly higher than the literature data. Most of the sample has claimed to have received good support both before and after childbirth, preferring information received through antenatal classes as source of support. In the postpartum period we found that mean scores on EPDS-P were significantly higher in partners of the experimental group compared to control group. At the last phase we found an increased participation of women with depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: The results could be considered as evidence of the importance of participation in a psychoeducational program during pregnancy as a means of increasing in women and their partners the ability to recognize and to not underestimate the signals of distress in the postpartum period.

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