Lifestyle factors, self-reported health and sense of coherence among fathers/partners in relation to risk for depression and anxiety in early pregnancy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Father's health is important for mothers and unborn/newborn children and knowledge about expectant fathers’ health in relation to lifestyle and psychosocial aspects is essential. Aims: To determine sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, self-reported health and sense of coherence among fathers and partners in relation to their risk for depression and anxiety in early pregnancy. Methods: A cross-sectional design, descriptive statistics, chi-squared analysis, T-test, binary logistic regression, multiple logistic regression with OR and 95% CI were used. Results: A total of 532 prospective fathers/partners constituted the cohort (mean age 31.55, SD 5.47 years). Nearly, one in ten (9.8%) had a statistically high risk for depression; mainly those who were unemployed (p = 0.043), had financial distress (0.001), reported ‘very or fairly bad’ health (p = 0.002), had a ‘very or fairly bad’ sexual satisfaction (p = 0.006) and scored low on the SOC scale (p < 0.001). They smoked more often (p = 0.003) were hazardous users of alcohol (p = 0.001) and slept with difficulties (p = 0.001). Those with sleeping difficulties were 5.7 times more likely to have several symptoms of depression (p = 0.001). Hazardous users of alcohol and smokers had 3.1 respectively 3.0 times higher risk for depression (p = 0.001 respectively 0.003). The single strongest risk factor was a low score on the SOC-scale which gave 10.6 (AOR 10.6; 95% CI 5.4–20.6) higher risk for depression. High-anxiety ‘just now’ was reported by 8.9% and ‘in general’ by 7.9%, and those who had sleeping difficulties reported ‘very or fairly bad’ health (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Allocating more resources and introducing more family-focused care with depression and anxiety screening in early pregnancy for both expecting parents at antenatal care should be strongly considered by actors and policymakers, as this is a step in maintaining a family's well-being.


External organisations
  • Malmö University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • anxiety, cross-sectional study, depression, father/partner, lifestyle, pregnancy, sense of coherence
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018 Dec 21
Publication categoryResearch