Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Among Mothers Whose Child was Placed in Care of Child Protection Services at Birth: A Retrospective Cohort Study Using Linkable Administrative Data

Elizabeth Wall-Wieler, Leslie L Roos, Marni Brownell, Nathan C Nickel, Dan Chateau, Kendra Nixon
Maternal and Child Health Journal 2018 July 13
Objectives This study examines whether mothers involved with child protection services (CPS) at the birth of their first child had higher rates of postpartum depression and anxiety. Methods A retrospective cohort of mothers whose first child was born in Manitoba, Canada between April 1, 1995 and March 31, 2015 is used. Postpartum depression and anxiety among mothers whose first child was placed in care at birth (n = 776) was compared with mothers who received services from CPS (but whose children were not placed in care) (n = 4,270), and a 3:1 matched group of mothers who had no involvement with CPS in the first year of their firstborn's life (n = 2,328). Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) of depression and anxiety diagnoses in the first year postpartum were obtained from logistic regression models. Adjusted rate ratios (ARR) of antidepressant use obtained using Poisson models. Results Mothers whose children were taken into care have greater odds of having a postpartum depression or anxiety diagnosis than mothers receiving services (AOR = 1.31; 95% CI 1.08-1.59) and those not involved with CPS (AOR = 2.13; 95% CI 1.67-2.73). Among mothers who had a postpartum depression or anxiety diagnosis, mothers whose children were placed in care had significantly higher rates of antidepressant use than mothers receiving services only (ARR = 2.00; 1.82, 2.19) and mothers who were not involved with CPS (ARR = 2.42; 95% CI 1.94-3.51). Conclusions for Practice Targeted programs should be implemented to address postpartum mental illness among mothers who are involved with CPS at the birth of their child.

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