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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 90-96

Antenatal depression in expectant fathers ( an Egyptian study)

1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Psychiatry, Beni Suef University, Beni Suef, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Suaad Moussa
MD, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, 11451, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.EJP.0000413118.03956.0b

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Depression in relation to child conception and birth is not limited to mothers. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the study of depression in expectant fathers and in fathers after birth of their children, its correlates and consequences. These studies are relatively rare, especially in our culture.


The aim of this study was to screen for depressive symptoms in expectant fathers and to study their sociodemographic, pregnancy and marital correlates.


Eighty-five Egyptian expectant fathers, husbands of Egyptian wives attending private Gynaecology and Obstetrics clinics for regular follow up of an unthreatened pregnancy, were asked to fill the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Intimate Bond Measure (IBM).


A total of 31.8% (n=27) of the expectant fathers scored at least 10 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, indicating possible depression. High percentages of anxiety were found in both depressed and nondepressed participants. Depression did not correlate with sociodemographic variables. A significantly higher percentage of depressed participants desired a boy (48.1 vs. 24.1%) and were expecting a boy (40.1 vs. 24.1%). Other pregnancy variables were not associated with depression. A significantly higher percentage of depressed participants (35 vs.19.5%) perceived their marital relation as lacking intimacy, with only 5% rating their relation as having optimum intimacy on the IBM. Depression correlated negatively (r=−0.269, P=0.036) with the care subscale but not with the control subscale of the IBM.


Fathers are probably at an increased risk of depression in the antenatal period, which is related to their perception of marital intimacy. Delineation of specific cultural and personal contributors needs further research.

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