In this study 62 women hospitalized for high-risk obstetrical complications completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7), and Short-Form 12 (SF-12) weekly until delivery or discharge and once after delivery.

The EPDS was suggestive of depression (a score of ? 10) in 27% of the women (n=17) and clinically significant anxiety symptoms (GAD-7 ? 10) in 13% (n=8) of the women. Past mental health diagnosis predicted depression symptoms (OR=4.54) and anxiety symptoms (OR=5.95) at initial survey; however, 21% (n=10) with no diagnostic history had an EPDS ? 10. Only 5% (n=3) received mental health treatment during pregnancy.

Depression and anxiety are common among women hospitalized for obstetric complications; however, only a very small percentage received any treatment for their symptoms. While this study indicated that depressive symptoms and anxiety appeared to decrease after delivery, it is not clear if the women who experienced significant symptoms during pregnancy continued to have clinically significant symptoms after delivery.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Byatt N, et al. Depression and anxiety among high-risk obstetric inpatients. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. July 2014.