The Prevalence of Postpartum Depression Among Women with Physical Disabilities: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Open Access

Evohr, Bryn (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL:


Postpartum depression affects 10-15% of childbearing parents and has serious effects on the ongoing physical and mental health of the parent and child. Within a population of childbearing women, 12.7% report chronic physical disabilities. These mothers often face discrimination in healthcare settings and high rates of maternal and obstetric complications, as well as having higher rates of lifetime depression, factors that independently predict postpartum depression. Some studies have found higher rates of postpartum depression in mothers with physical disabilities than in able-bodied mothers, with more disabling symptoms associated with elevated postpartum depression; however, the literature is sparse, and no published review has aggregated this knowledge. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the association between postpartum depression and physical disability. Following PRISMA guidelines, the review started by searching PubMed and PsycInfo, with the primary inclusion criteria being that the studies had a measure of depression in women during the postpartum period and a cohort with physical disabilities. Taking a meta-analytic approach, we aggregated the prevalence of postpartum depression in women with physical disabilities and analyzed moderators including region, sample population, and measure types. The meta-analysis revealed a significant association between postpartum depression and physical disability. These findings indicate a need for greater awareness and resources for mothers with physical disabilities that have postpartum depression. Additionally, the review reveals the need for more research to investigate the experiences and causes of postpartum depression in women with physical disabilities.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction. 1

2 Method. 11

2.1 Protocol Registration. 11

2.2 Search Strategy. 11

2.3 Study Selection. 12

2.4 Data Extraction. 13

2.5 Assessment of Study Quality. 14

2.6 Data Analysis. 14

3 Results. 17

3.1 Characteristics of Included Studies. 17

3.2 Qualitative Analysis. 17

3.3 Meta-Analytic Model. 18

3.4 Moderator Analyses. 19

3.5 Publication Bias. 21

3.6 Results Without Influential Case. 22

3.7 Results Grouped by Sampling Direction. 23

4 Discussion. 26

4.1 Implications. 26

4.2 Limitations. 28

4.3 Directions for Future Research. 29

4.4 Conclusion. 34

5 References. 35

6 Appendix. 51

6.1 Table 1. 51

6.2 Table 2. 52

6.3 Table 3. 53

6.4 Table 4. 55

6.5 Table 5. 57

6.6 Table 6. 58

6.7 Figure 1. 59

6.8 Figure 2. 60

6.9 Figure 3. 60

6.10 Figure 4. 61

6.11 Figure 5. 62

6.12 Figure 6. 62

6.13 Figure 7. 63

6.14 Figure 8. 63

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files