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Antenatal Depression; its Prevalence of Positive Screen and the Associating Risk Factors Including Labor and Neonatal Outcome

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 2 ]


Nurezwana Elias* and Sofiah Sulaiman   Pages 107 - 115 ( 9 )


Background: Antenatal depression is often neglected and unrecognized. It is known to be associated with various unwanted outcomes for both mothers and babies.

Objective: This study aims to assess the prevalence of a positive screen for antenatal depression and its risk factors as well as the labour and neonatal outcomes.

Method: 265 pregnant women who received care from University Malaya Medical Centre were recruited in this study. They completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) questionnaires twice; once during the antenatal period and once again during the postnatal period. Only 235 out of 265 data were analysed for the association between risk factors, labour and neonatal outcome. Postnatal data that were collected after 4-6 weeks of delivery were completed in 90 women.

Results: 41 women (17%) were found to have a positive screen and it has a significant positive correlation with postnatal EDPS score (r=0.919, p=0.00). After adjustment for confounders, preexisting medical illness is the only risk factor found to be associated with the positive screen group (OR 3.0, 95% CI1.11-8.46). The positive screen group is also associated with reduced neonatal birth weight (0R=0.998; 95%CI0.997-0.999), reduced cord pH (OR=0.000; 95%CI0.000-0.202) and increased blood loss at birth (0R=1.005; 95%CI1.001-1.009).

Conclusion: The positive screen group of antenatal depression is associated with few adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. Therefore, a formal mental health assessment should be offered to all pregnant women who are found to have a positive screen of antenatal depression.


Antenatal depression, postnatal depression, EPDS, pregnancy outcome, neonatal outcome.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

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