Factors associated with antenatal depression and obstetric complications in immigrant women in Geneva

Author(s): Betty GOGUIKIAN RATCLIFF, Anna SHARAPOVA, Francesca SUARDI, and Fabienne BOREL



Objective :immigrant women are at increased risk for health problems during pregnancy, and for antenatal and postnatal depression. This study aimed to identify sociodemographic and specific psychosocial risk factors of antenatal depression and obstetric complications in an economically and culturally heterogeneous sample.

Design prospective : cross-sectional design.

Setting : the study was conducted in a midwifery office.

Participants : the community sample included 228 immigrant pregnant women with low French proficiency referred to birth preparation classes between 2006 and 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Measurement : depressive symptoms were measured during the third trimester of pregnancy using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. A cut-off score ≥12 was considered to be indicative of antenatal depression.

Findings : more than half of the participants had been living in Switzerland for less than five years and had a short-term residence permit. Thirty-seven per cent of women scored above the clinical cut-off score. Women with several risk factors, such as a precarious legal status, lack of marital support, difficult living conditions and being a newcomer to Switzerland, were at higher risk of depression. Women who encountered difficult living conditions were at higher risk of obstetric complications.

Implications for practice : these results confirm the findings of previous research, and highlight the need for early detection. Public health prevention policies should consist of multidimensional programmes to address simultaneously psychosocial, cultural and obstetric issues in pregnant immigrant women.

Keywords: Antenatel depression, EPDS, Immigrant women, Psychosocial risk factors

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