Author(s): Sealy PA, Fraser J, Simpson JP, Evans M, Hartford A
OBJECTIVE: To explore awareness of postpartum depression and its symptoms and available community resources for women with postpartum depression. DESIGN: Cross-sectional surveillance research, using population-based data. SETTING: Eight communities in southern and eastern Ontario, Canada. PARTICIPANTS: A random selection of adults 18 years of age and older with telephones. METHOD: Logistic regression and chi-square test were used to analyze awareness of postpartum depression and its symptoms, the baby blues, and sources of assistance for women with postpartum depression. RESULTS: The vast majority of respondents were aware of postpartum depression (90.1% +/- 0.6% confidence interval) (n=8,750) as compared with the baby blues (62.5% +/- 1.1%). Awareness of postpartum depression, its symptoms, the baby blues, and sources of assistance varied according to the demographic profiles of the respondents (family structure, education, and language spoken at home). CONCLUSION: Awareness of the term postpartum depression does not necessarily imply awareness of its symptoms or sources of assistance. Public education is needed to address this fact in order to provide social support and encourage treatment for symptomatic women and their families. Education should target individuals with lower levels of education and non-English-speaking groups.