A meta-analysis on studies about obstetric risk factors of postpartum depression in Iran within 1995-2005

Parvin Bahadoran, Sabiheh Shokrani Foroushani, Soheila Ehsanpour, Ahmad Abedi


Background: Mood disorders including postpartum depression are among the most important mental health disorders in postpartum period. There are numerous independent studies conducted in scientific and research centers in Iran on the subject, and a meta-analytic evaluation of these studies can yield practical and precise results.

Methods: This was a meta-analytic study using Hunter and Schmidt approach, carried out in 2007. Eleven research projects and dissertations conducted in Iran within 1995-2005 were studied and data were obtained based on a standard checklist. The researches approved to enter the study based on methodological parameters. The checklist validity and reliability were confirmed by content validity and consistency index respectively. After summarizing the results, the effect's size was calculated and then interpreted based on combined meta-analysis approach and Cohen chart.

Results: According to the calculated effect's size of studied researches, childbirth rank and type of delivery variables have weak relation with postpartum depression (z = 20.08 and z = 3.7 respectively) and unwanted pregnancy variable is moderately related (z = 15.72).

Conclusion: The results indicate the importance of preventing unwanted pregnancies by educating people, families and health care employees in order to improve women's health.

KEY WORDS: Postpartum depression, related factors, meta-analysis

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