The risk of anxiety disorders in women in the first year postpartum – the results from the postpartum depression prevention program ‟Next Stop: MUM”
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University of Gdansk, Poland
Institute of Psychology University of Gdańsk
Submission date: 2022-07-14
Final revision date: 2022-10-20
Acceptance date: 2022-11-27
Online publication date: 2023-12-31
Publication date: 2023-12-31
Corresponding author
Magdalena Chrzan-Dętkoś   

University of Gdansk, Poland
Psychiatr Pol 2023;57(6):1231-1246
The purpose of the study was to examine the severity of anxiety symptoms and the co-occurrence of anxiety disorders and mood disorders in a group of women in the first year after childbirth participating in the program for the prevention of postpartum depression.

The study included 1,514 women who were screened by midwives during a patronage visit and were followed up, and 10,454 women who took part in an online screening conducted on the project website. The Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale was used for screening, including factor analysis to assess the anxiety subscale, and the GAD-2 questionnaire was used too.

The risk of anxiety disorders was observed in 9.5% of women during the patronage visit and, depending on the survey method, 21.2% (ESDP 3 A) or 13.2% (GAD-2) in the follow-up study up to 9 months postpartum. In the online study, 62.8% of women obtained results indicating a high risk of anxiety disorders. For comparison, the result of 12 points and more indicating the risk of depression was obtained by 6.3% in the first month after childbirth and 14.3% in the follow-up study. The results show that anxiety disorders and mood disorders are significantly related (r = 0.631; p < 0.01).

The risk of having anxiety disorders after childbirth is higher or similar to that of mood disorders. It is warranted to extend screening to anxiety disorders and to develop a rapid pathway of early psychological/psychiatric intervention for women in need.

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