Depression, social support, and coping styles among pregnant women after the lushan earthquake in Ya'an, China

Jianhua Ren, Xiaolian Jiang, Jianrong Yao, Xirong Li, Xinghui Liu, Meiche Pang, Chung Lim Vico Chiang

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Aim The aim of this study is to assess the depression of pregnant women in the aftermath of an earthquake, and to identify the social support that they obtained, their coping styles and socio-demographic factors associated with depression. Methods A total of 128 pregnant women from three hospitals in the epicenter area were recruited immediately after the Ya'an earthquake. Their depression was investigated using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) with a cutoff score of 14; the social support that they obtained was measured using the Social Support Questionnaire; and their coping styles were assessed using the Coping Styles Questionnaire. Results Immediately after the earthquake, the incidence rate of depression in pregnant women was 35.2%, higher than that of the general pregnant population (7%-14%). The EPDS scores were significantly correlated with gestation age at the time of the earthquake, objective support, subjective support, use of support, negative coping style, and positive coping style. The regression analysis indicated that risk factors of prenatal depression include the number of children, relatives wounded, subjective support, and coping styles. A further analysis of the interaction between social support and two types of coping styles with depression showed that there was interaction effect between subjective social support and positive coping styles in relation to EPDS scores. There was an inverse relationship between low EPDS scores and positive coping styles and high social support, and vice versa. Conclusion The timing of the occurrence of the earthquake may not necessarily affect the progress of the illness and recovery from depression, and psychological intervention could be conducted in the immediate aftermath after the earthquake. The impact of coping styles on prenatal depression appeared to be linked with social support. Helping pregnant women to adopt positive coping styles with good social support after a recent major earthquake, which is a stressor, may reduce their chances of developing prenatal depression.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0135809
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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