Purpose: This study was initiated to verify whether a remarkably high rate of postpartum depression (PPD), previously found in immigrant Hispanic women receiving health care at a community clinic, would also be found in a community sample with a similar demographic.

Data Sources: Sixty immigrant Hispanic women who had recently given birth were recruited from local community settings. The Beck Postpartum Depression Screening Scale-Spanish version (PPDS-S) and the General Acculturation Index (GAI) were used to screen for PPD symptoms and to collect demographic data. These data were then compared with previously published data from the community clinic sample.

Conclusions: Sixty percent of the immigrant Hispanic women in our community sample showed significant PPD symptoms as scored on the Beck PPDS-S. There was no significant difference found in demographics or in types of PPD symptoms between the clinic sample and the community sample. Of all the demographic data, the only statistically significant positive predictive factor for increased PPD symptoms was having a previous history of depression. In addition, 54% of the sample had an elevated symptom content profile score for suicidal thinking. Implications for Practice: Health practitioners should be aware of a potentially high rate of PPD in this population, especially in light of previously studied increased rates of suicide attempts in Latinas. If a prior history of depression is predictive of PPD, it is possible that many of the mothers in our sample suffered from depression prior to the postpartum period, but were not appropriately diagnosed or treated. Recommendations for outreach and further research are discussed. In particular, further research regarding the prenatal prevalence of depression in immigrant Hispanic women is recommended in order to further understand the high incidence of PPD.



College and Department

Nursing; Nursing



Date Submitted


Document Type





postpartum depression, depression, mental health, Hispanic, Latina, suicide, prenatal, perinatal, screening, health intervention, social support, stigma, outreach, cultural competence



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Nursing Commons