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Title: Antenatal psychiatric morbidity in Maltese women
Authors: Felice, Ethel
Saliba, Joseph
Grech, Victor
Cox, John
Calleja, Neville
Keywords: Pregnancy
Prenatal care
Prenatal diagnosis
Stress (Psychology)
Pregnant women -- Mental health
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Citation: Felice, E., Saliba, J., Grech, V., Cox, J., & Calleja, N. (2007). Antenatal psychiatric morbidity in Maltese women. General Hospital Psychiatry, 29(6), 501-505.
Abstract: Objective: There has been no empirical research on the occurrence of antenatal psychiatric morbidity in Maltese women. Epidemiological studies have shown that depressive episodes occur in 10–20% of pregnant women. Furthermore, studies have shown that antenatal psychiatric morbidity can adversely affect maternal and foetal well being. Method: A random sample of 239 pregnant women were interviewed at booking using a detailed sociodemographic history and the Revised Version of the Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R). The CIS-R was again administered at 36 weeks and at 8 weeks postpartum to 95.8% of the women. Results: Among the 229 women interviewed the point prevalence of all psychiatric diagnosis was 19.2% and the point prevalence of antenatal depression and anxiety disorders was 14.8% and 4.4%, respectively, at 18.6 weeks of gestation. At 36 weeks of gestation, the point prevalence of depressive disorder was 10%. Two thirds of the antenatal depression remitted postpartum. Conclusion: A significant proportion of Maltese women suffer from psychiatric morbidity during pregnancy. Depressive disorders are the commonest morbidity in this study population. Given the scope of the morbidity and potential impact on obstetric and neonatal outcomes, early detection and treatment are recommended.
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