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Mental disorders in new parents before and after birth: a population-based cohort study

  • Fenglian Xu (a1), Elizabeth Sullivan (a1), Colin Binns (a2) and Caroline S. E. Homer (a3)
Abstract
Background

Mental disorders of women during the postnatal period are a major public health problem. Compared with women's mental disorders, much less attention has been paid to men's mental disorders in the perinatal period. To date, there have been no reports in the literature describing secular changes of both maternal and paternal hospital admissions for mental disorders over the period covering the year before pregnancy (non-parents), during pregnancy (expectant parents) and up to the first year after birth (parents) based on linked parental data. The co-occurrences of couples' hospital admissions for mental disorders have not previously been investigated.

Aims

To describe maternal and paternal hospital admissions for mental disorders before and after birth. To compare the co-occurrences of parents' hospital admissions for mental disorder in the perinatal period.

Method

This is a cohort study using paired parents' population data from the New South Wales (NSW) Perinatal Data Collection (PDC), Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) and Admitted Patients Data Collection (APDC). The study included all parents (n=196 669 couples) who gave birth to their first child in NSW between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2009.

Results

The hospital admission rate for women with a principal mental disorder diagnosis in the period between the year before pregnancy and the first year after birth was significantly higher than that for men. Parents' mental disorders influenced each other. If a man was admitted to hospital with a principal mental disorder diagnosis, his wife or partner was more likely to be admitted to hospital with a principal mental disorder diagnosis compared with women whose partner had not had a hospital admission, and vice versa.

Conclusions

Mothers' mental disorders after birth increased more significantly than fathers. However, fathers' mental disorders significantly impacted the co-occurrence of mothers' mental disorders.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Corresponding author
Fenglian Xu, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia. Email: Fenglian.Xu@uts.edu.au
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Mental disorders in new parents before and after birth: a population-based cohort study

  • Fenglian Xu (a1), Elizabeth Sullivan (a1), Colin Binns (a2) and Caroline S. E. Homer (a3)
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