A follow-up study of post partum illness, 1946-1978.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Eighty-two patients, who were treated for post partum illness between 1946 and 1971, were identified and followed up. Diagnostically, the sample comprised unipolar depression (52%), bipolar disorder (18%), schizophrenia (16%), abnormal personality with depression (8%), organic disorder (2%), and obsessional state with depression and paranoid disorder (1% each). The overall prognosis was good, except for schizophrenia, in which more than 50% of patients had chronic disability. Further childbirth intensified, and caused deterioration of, the underlying schizophrenia process. Following an initial illness in the puerperium, the probability of a recurrent affective illness was 43% for unipolar and 66% for bipolar disorder. The risk of developing another post partum illness varied from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 pregnancies. Five percent of the sample ultimately committed suicide, and the probable incidence of infanticide was 4%.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Davidson, J; Robertson, E

Published Date

  • May 1, 1985

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 451 - 457

PubMed ID

  • 4013805

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0001-690X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1985.tb05057.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States