High lifelong relapse rate of psychiatric disorders among women with postpartum psychosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nager A, Szulkin R, Johansson S-E, Johansson L-M, Sundquist K. High lifelong relapse rate of psychiatric disorders among women with postpartum psychosis. Nord J Psychiatry 2013;67:53-58. Background: The relapse rate for psychiatric disorders after postpartum psychosis is high. Apart from subsequent puerperal periods, previous studies have not examined when relapses in psychiatric disorders occur. In addition, little is known about the impact of certain individual factors on the risk of non-puerperal readmission among women with previous postpartum psychosis. Aims: The first aim was to examine the association between non-puerperal readmission due to psychiatric disorders and years of follow-up (in total, 30 years) in women with postpartum psychosis. The second aim was to examine the impact of age, type of psychosis, previous hospitalization for psychiatric disorders and level of education on the risk of non-puerperal readmission due to psychiatric disorders. Methods: All Swedish women aged 20-44 with postpartum psychosis (n = 3140) were followed between 1975 and 2004 for non-puerperal readmission due to psychiatric disorders. A Cox frailty regression model was used to estimate hazard ratios for non-puerperal readmission. Results: The risk of non-puerperal readmission, although gradually decreasing with time, remained high many years after the postpartum psychosis. The risk of non-puerperal readmission was significantly higher among women with schizophrenia, lower levels of education and previous psychiatric hospitalization. Conclusions: Postpartum psychosis is often part of a lifelong recurrent psychiatric disorder. Women with schizophrenia, lower levels of education and hospitalization due to a psychiatric disorder prior to postpartum psychosis have a higher risk of non-puerperal readmission. Clinical implications: The findings constitute important knowledge for all healthcare workers encountering women with a previous postpartum psychosis.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry

Keywords

  • Psychiatric disorders, puerperal disorders, schizophrenia, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Volume67
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes