Spousal Military Deployment as a Risk Factor for Postpartum Depression

Article · November 2008with37 Reads
Source: PubMed
To compare the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) results in women whose spouses had deployed during or after pregnancy vs. those whose spouses had not. A chart review of 6-week postpartum visits of women with active-duty spouses was conducted over 10 months. Associations between military deployments and EPDS score were examined by Student's t test, and rates of positive screens (with a cutoff of 12) between groups were compared by odds ratio (OR). Linear regression was used to calculate predictors of EPDS score. A total of 415 charts were analyzed. The average EPDS score of women whose partner did deploy during the pregnancy was 7.36 compared to 4.81 for those whose partners did not (p < 0.001). The percentage of positive screens for women whose partner deployed during the pregnancy was 25.27% compared with 10.94% for an OR of 2.75 (p < 0.001). Linear regression showed partner's deployment during pregnancy to be an independent predictor of EPDS score (p < 0.005). Deployment of a spouse during pregnancy may be a risk factor for depression. Aggressive screening of this at-risk population is recommended.
    • Research on wives who have experienced their husbands' deployment as a stressor has demonstrated inconsistent results. While some studies have found that military spouses are relatively unaffected (e.g.,SteelFisher et al., 2008), most recent and older studies have found a variety of psychological problems such as elevated depression levels (Burrell et al., 2006;Mansfield et al., 2010;Robrecht et al., 2008), sleep problems, anxiety, and adjustment disorders (Mansfield et al., 2010), in addition to somatic complaints (Bey and Lange, 1974), emotional distress (Medway et al., 1995), loneliness (Warner et al., 2009), increased medical care (McCubbin et al., 1975) and fear (Wright et al., 2006). As far as physical health, the most common symptoms reported by wives during deployment have included headaches, fatigue and menstrual changes (Blount et al., 1992).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between coping strategies and four dimensions of quality of life (QOL) (physical, psychological, social relations and environment) among military wives. We examined these links six months after the military operation termed Protective Edge. Data were collected from 100 wives (mean age=30.56 SD=5.50) of soldiers who had participated in the military operation and who had been in the front lines. These women filled out self-reported questionnaires including demographics, Brief COPE and WHOQOL-BREF. Results showed that the most prevalent strategy was active coping. Women with no children reported better QOL. Some coping strategies were significantly different in consonance with religiosity and economic status. The demographics and coping scales explained 42%, 23%, 31%, and 28% of the variance of physical, psychological, social and environmental quality of life. The most salient explanatory variables were having children and the maladaptive coping scale. Both of these variables had a negative effect on all scales. The results are discussed based on the stress and coping theory of Lazarus and Folkman.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2017
    • As compared with wives of personnel who were not deployed, women whose husbands were deployed received more diagnoses of depressive disorders, sleep disorders, anxiety, and acute stress reaction and adjustment disorders (Mansfield et al., 2010). Compared to new mothers whose partners did not deploy, mothers whose partner was deployed during their pregnancy experienced significantly higher rates of postnatal depression (Robrecht et al., 2008). Deployment stress among milspouses has also been negatively associated with regular exercise, social behaviors, regular sleep, and safety–environmental behaviors (Padden, Connors, & Agazio, 2011).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Military spouses (milspouses) enact resilience through communication before, during, and after military deployments. Based on an organizing framework of resilience processes (Buzzanell, 20102. Buzzanell , P. M. 2010. Resilience: Talking, resisting, and imagining new normalcies into being. Journal of Communication, 60: 1–14. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]View all references), this study examined milspouses’ communicative construction of resilience during an increasingly rapid military deployment cycle. Narratives from in-depth interviews with military spouses (n = 24) revealed how resilience is achieved through communication seeking to reconcile the often contradictory realities of milspouses who endure physical, psychological, and social difficulties due to prolonged separations from their partners.
    Article · Oct 2013
    • Although some studies have found that military spouses are relatively unaffected by separation from their service member (e.g., nice, 1983), others have found elevated depression levels (Burrell et al., 2006;Medway, davis, Cafferty, Chappell, & o'hearn, 1995) and increased diagnoses of depression disorders related to deployment separation (Mansfield et al., 2010). deployment separation has also been implicated in the development of postpartum depression (Robrecht, Millegan, leventis, Crescitelli, & Mclay, 2008) and in increased diagnoses of sleep problems, anxiety, acute stress reactions, and adjustment disorders for army spouses (Mansfield et al., 2010). younger spouses appear to be particularly vulnerable to deployment separations (Rosen, Westhuis, & Teitelbaum, 1994), which may reflect fewer years of marriage, less time to adapt to the military environment, and lower rank of the service member.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter explores the demands that military families face and how families respond to them and then reviews existing programs designed to promote psychological resilience. Military families are part of a unique organization. We explore findings regarding four common challenges that are part of their lifestyle: residential mobility, spouse employment, deployment separation, and reintegration of the service member. After exploring the lifestyle demands, we summarize factors that can lead to adaptation and successful functioning and recommend future research directions on resilience in military families. Having explored some of the challenges faced by military families, we address how military families respond to these demands. Factors that can lead to adaptation and competent functioning, thus building psychological resilience and the ability to bounce back after experiencing stressful events, are particularly relevant for military families, given the current context of combat deployments. We then turn to single-parent families in the military, a group that may benefit from programs that promote psychological resilience. Finally, we review several programs that focus on building and maintaining resilience skills in families as they cope with the challenges of the military lifestyle: Spouse Battlemind Training, Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists, and The Talk, Listen, Connect program.
    Full-text · Chapter · Jun 2013 · Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postpartum depression occurs in at least one in seven new mothers, usually within the first 6 months after delivery. By the time of onset of postpartum depression, the mother has usually long since been discharged from the maternity hospital. Early identification and treatment of these mothers reduces both maternal and infant suffering. Careful risk-benefit decision-making regarding various treatment options in the postpartum should be discussed with the mother. Risks of untreated depression include poor bonding with the infant, lack of self care, infant neglect and infanticide.
    Article · Jun 2009
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the relationship of positive screening for depression during and after pregnancy with deployment status of the spouse. We conducted a retrospective cohort study by reviewing a departmental database of women who completed the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale during pregnancy from 2007 to 2009. Per departmental protocol, screening is offered at the initial obstetric visit, at 28 weeks of gestation, and at 6 weeks postpartum. A score of 14 or higher was considered high risk for having depression, and referral for additional evaluation was recommended. Included in our survey was an additional question that asked if the patient's spouse was currently deployed, returning from deployment, preparing to deploy, or if no deployment was planned. All data were entered into an electronic database and statistical analysis performed comparing Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale scores at each time period and deployment status. A total of 3,956 surveys were complete and available for analysis. The risk of a positive screen was more than doubled compared with the control group (no deployment planned) if the spouse was deployed during the 28-32 week visit (4.3% compared with 13.1%, P=.012) or the postpartum period (8.1% compared with 16.2%, P=.006). Deployment status has a measurable effect on the prevalence of elevated depression screening scores during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. These findings suggest that more intense monitoring, assessment, and treatment may be warranted for this at-risk population. II.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study sought to investigate risk factors associated to postpartum depression. A systematic review of the literature was conducted on the databases PubMed, Scielo and Lilacs, with the keywords postpartum depression, risk factors and epidemiological studies. Inclusion criteria: articles published in the last fi ve years in the following languages: English, Portuguese or Spanish; the sampling consisted of women above 18 years of age, with the postpartum depression assessment undertaken at least fi fteen days after birth. Th ere were 35 articles selected. From those, 70 risk factors were associated to postpartum depression. Th e risk factors that appear more frequently were psychological/psychiatric ones. The development of the investigations about postpartum depression has privileged the knowledge about psychosocial risk factors. A low frequency of hormonal/genetic factors appeared in these studies. The conclusion points out to the need of pregnant women in risk situation to be identifi ed in the prenatal care in order to allow preventive actions for postpartum depression.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Obstetrics and Gynecology
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