Risk For Postpartum Depression Among Immigrant Arabic Women in the United States: A Feasibility Study

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Abstract

Introduction:

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects approximately 14% of women in the United States and 10% to 37% of Arabic women in the Middle East. Evidence suggests that immigrant women experience higher rates, but information on PPD among immigrant women of Arabic descent in the United States is nonexistent.

Methods:

A cross-sectional descriptive feasibility study was conducted to assess the practicality of implementing a larger proposed research study to examine predictors of PPD in US immigrant women of Arabic descent residing in Dearborn, Michigan. Fifty women were recruited from an Arab community center and completed demographic data, the Arabic version of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS), and the Postpartum Depression Predictors Inventory–Revised (PDPI-R).

Results:

Among participants, 36% were considered at high risk for developing PPD. Lack of social support, antenatal anxiety, antenatal depression, maternity blues (feeling depressed during the first 4 weeks postpartum), and life stress were significantly related to risk for PPD. Multiple regression analysis revealed that social support (t = −3.77, P < .0001) and maternity blues (t = 2.19, P = .03) were the only significant predictors for postpartum depressive symptoms.

Discussion:

Findings of this study describe the prevalence of PPD in a sample of US immigrant women of Arabic descent and support the feasibility of a larger and more in-depth understanding of their immigration and acculturation experiences. Study participants reported high risk for PPD. Maternity blues and lack of social support were significant predictors to the risk for PPD. Future research tailored to this minority group is recommended.

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