Depression in Mongolian women over the first 2 months after childbirth: prevalence and risk factors

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BACKGROUND: Social, political and economic changes in Mongolia have followed post-Soviet style government policies and contributed to both increased liberalisation and reduced security in employment and family finances. This is the first study to attempt to assess the prevalence of depression in a population of Mongolian women in the post-partum period and assess risk factors, including financial position, associated with the condition.

METHODS: A total of 1044 women who had delivered healthy babies in Ulaanbaatar between October and December 2002 were screened for depression using the WHO Self Reporting Questionnaire between 5 and 9 weeks post-partum. Further details on the mother, her family and social and economic circumstances were simultaneously collected. Analysis of risk factors for probable depression was undertaken using multiple logistic regression techniques.

RESULTS: The prevalence of depression was 9.1% (95% CLs 7.5%-11.1%). Variables significantly and independently associated with risk of probable maternal depression included economic factors, mother being subject to physical abuse, dissatisfied with the pregnancy, concerned about her baby's behaviour, and her own health problems.

LIMITATIONS: The sample was drawn from a population of mothers all of whom had healthy, full-term babies of normal birth weight. Clinical confirmation of diagnosis was not established.

CONCLUSIONS: Mongolian women with young infants in Ulaanbaatar probably experience depression at rates comparable with other cultures. Factors associated with probable depression were dominated by health, relationships and financial position.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-33
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Adolescent, Adult, Depression, Female, Humans, Maternal Behavior, Mongolia, Parturition, Pregnancy, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Stress, Psychological, Time Factors, Young Adult