A six-month follow-up study of maternal anxiety and depressive symptoms among Japanese

Yuki Sato, Tadaaki Kato, Naoko Kakee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Maternal psychological distress has been widely studied, but epidemiologic data based on follow-up studies of maternal psychological distress remain insufficient in Japan. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms among child-rearing women in Japan at two time-points after childbirth. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was delivered on two occasions to 2,657 women who had given birth in 2004: first when their infants were 3-4 months old and then again when their infants were 9-10 months old. The questionnaire included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS; Japanese version) to estimate the level of maternal psychological distress. Results: The total percentage of women with anxiety symptoms as assessed by a HADS score of 8+ was 26.2% at 3-4 months of age, and 26.1 % at 9-10 months. Among the women without anxiety symptoms at 3-4 months, 11.6 % showed anxiety symptoms at 9-10 months. The total percentage of depressive symptoms was 19.0 % at 3-4 months, and 24.0% at 9-10 months. Among the women without depressive symptoms at 3-4 months, 14.0% showed depressive symptoms at 9-10 months. Conclusion: Anxiety symptoms in mothers appeared to persist from 3-4 months to 9-10 months after childbirth, while depressive symptoms tended to be more common at 9-10 months after childbirth. Nevertheless, the prevalence of anxiety symptoms was higher than that of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-87
Number of pages4
Journaljournal of epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Depression
  • Maternal welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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