Maternal depression is a common condition among new mothers that can be associated with poor maternal health and negative consequences on infant health. Little research has been conducted to examine maternal depression, especially among military mothers, where unique conditions often exist. Using data from a large military cohort, this study prospectively examined the relationship between deployment experience before and after childbirth and maternal depression among U.S. service women.
The study included 1,660 female Millennium Cohort participants who gave birth during active duty service and completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires between 2001 and 2008. Maternal depression was assessed at follow-up using Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire criteria.
Deployment before childbirth, regardless of combat experience, and deployment without combat experience after childbirth did not increase the risk of maternal depression. Women who deployed and reported combat experience after childbirth were at increased risk for maternal depression compared with nondeployed women who gave birth (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.17-3.43). Among the subgroup of female combat deployers, however, women who gave birth did not have a significantly increased risk for depression compared with those who did not give birth.
Military women who deployed with combatlike experiences after childbirth were at increased risk for postdeployment maternal depression. The risk, however, appeared primarily related to combat rather than childbirth-related experiences.
"Approximately 16,000 active duty military women give birth annually (Nguyen et al., 2013; Rychnovsky & Beck, 2006), so it is surprising that we found so few studies on the impact of deployment on the mental health of military mothers and their young children. More studies on military mothers of young children and how their needs may differ from those of military fathers are needed. "
"Nine percent of women screened positive for depression , 8% screened positive for PTS, and 7% of the female nurses and nursing personnel in this study screened positive for comorbid PTS–depression in the 6-month survey. Although the prevalence of mental health symptoms is higher than that found in some other groups of employed women, the overlap between PTS and depression is less substantial; for example, 58% of female military personnel who screened positive for depression also had a prior PTSD diagnosis or current symptoms (Nguyen et al., 2013). In addition to nurses' experiences of violence (Bracken et al., 2010; Campbell et al., 2011), it may be that workers in the helping professions are more susceptible to mental health issues given their empathic nature and greater potential for experiencing personal distress due to witnessing the suffering of others (Thomas, 2013). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the impact of cumulative violence victimization on health care workers' subsequent posttraumatic stress-depression comorbidity. Female nurses and nursing personnel (N = 1,044) answered questions about lifetime violence victimization (e.g., childhood abuse, intimate partner violence, and workplace violence) at baseline and completed the Primary Care Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) Disorder screen and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale 6 months later. Seven percent screened positive for comorbid posttraumatic stress-depression at 6-month monitoring. Workers who reported one, two, or three or more types of violence victimization at baseline had 2.41 (p < .10), 2.35 (p > .05), and 6.44 (p < .01) greater odds, respectively, of subsequently screening positive for comorbid PTS-depression compared to their counterparts who reported no violence victimization at baseline. These results suggest the need to provide female nurses and nursing personnel with information about (1) the risk cumulative violence victimization poses for poorer mental health and functioning, and (2) evidence-based trauma informed treatment options outside their place of employment for those affected by violence victimization who develop mental health symptoms. [Workplace Health Saf 2014;62(6):224-232.].
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent surge in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) era women Veterans, most of whom are younger compared to other women Veterans, presenting with mental health issues is expected to pose new clinical challenges. Treatment of mental health conditions in women Veterans is not considered comprehensive without adequate examination of the impact of reproductive events across the life span, such as their menstrual cycle, pregnancy and postpartum period, and menopausal transition. The overarching aim of this article is to discuss emerging clinical issues in managing common psychiatric conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression during pregnancy and postpartum period in the VA healthcare system and secondly, to identify steps to advance the knowledge and understanding of these complex issues. Information to be gained in this area has immediate clinical application in the overall management of major psychiatric conditions in women Veterans during pregnancy and postpartum, and implications for policy-making decisions.
Journal of Women's Health 01/2015; 24(1). DOI:10.1089/jwh.2013.4664 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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