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Depression during pregnancy in the Brazilian public health care system

Depressão durante a gravidez no sistema público de saúde brasileiro

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of depression and correlate clinical and demographic characteristics in pregnant women assisted by the public health system in the city of Pelotas, RS, Brazil. METHOD: We performed a cross-sectional study focused on pregnant women assisted by the public health service. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to screen for depression. RESULTS: In a sample of 1,264 pregnant women aged 12-46 years, 21.1% (n = 255) presented a depressive episode during pregnancy. The presence of depression was associated with older age, lower education, lack of a cohabiting partner, not being primiparous, planned pregnancy, abortion thoughts, psychological or psychiatric treatment, smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and stressful events. CONCLUSION: Pregnant women assisted by the Brazilian public health system presented a high prevalence of depression. Psychiatric history, lack of support, and stressful events increase the probability of antenatal depression.

Depression; Pregnancy; Health systems; Probability; Public health


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