The prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety, and the level of life stress and worry in New Zealand Māori and non-Māori women in late pregnancy

T. Leigh Signal, Sarah Jane Paine, Bronwyn Sweeney, Diane Muller, Monique Priston, Kathryn Lee, Philippa Gander, Mark Huthwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To describe the prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety, and the level of life stress and worry in late pregnancy for Māori and non-Māori women. Methods: In late pregnancy, women completed a questionnaire recording their prior history of mood disorders; self-reported current depressive symptoms (≫/413 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale), current anxiety symptoms (≫/46 on the anxiety items from the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale), significant life stress (≫/42 items on life stress scale) and dysfunctional worry (>12 on the Brief Measure of Worry Scale). Results: Data were obtained from 406 Māori women (mean age = 27.6 years, standard deviation=6.3 years) and 738 non-Māori women (mean age = 31.6 years, standard deviation=5.3 years). Depressive symptoms (22% vs 15%), anxiety symptoms (25% vs 20%), significant life stress (55% vs 30%) and a period of poor mood during the current pregnancy (18% vs 14%) were more prevalent for Māori than non-Maori women. Less than 50% of women who had experienced ≫/42 weeks of poor mood during the current pregnancy had sought help. Being young was an independent risk factor for depressive symptoms, significant life stress and dysfunctional worry. A prior history of depression was also consistently associated with a greater risk of negative affect in pregnancy. Conclusion: Antenatal mental health requires at least as much attention and resourcing as mental health in the postpartum period. Services need to specifically target Māori women, young women and women with a prior history of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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