Changes in maternal self-efficacy, postnatal depression symptoms and social support among Chinese primiparous women during the initial postpartum period: A longitudinal study
Background: There are many parenting problems during infancy for Chinese primiparous women. As an important determinant of good parenting, maternal self-efficacy (MSE) should be paid more attention by researchers. At present, the limitations of previous research examining MSE during infancy are that most studies were conducted with a homogeneous sample and there were few studies with Chinese women. Secondly, the trajectory of change in MSE, postnatal depression symptoms and social support for Chinese primiparous women was not clear during the initial postpartum period in earlier studies. Objectives: This study aimed to describe changes in MSE, postnatal depression symptoms and social support among Chinese primiparous women in the first three months postnatally . Design: A quantitative longitudinal study using questionnaires was conducted. Setting: Obstetric wards at three hospitals in Xiamen City, South-East China. Participants: In total, 420 Chinese primiparous women were recruited. Methods: Initial baseline questionnaires to measure socio-demographic and clinical characteristics at three days postnatally were distributed to participants face-to-face by the researcher on the postnatal ward. Follow-up ques- tionnaires at six and 12 weeks postnatally were sent via e-mail by the researcher to participants, including the Self-efficacy in Infant Care Scale (SICS), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Postpartum Social Support Scale (PSSS) to measure MSE, postnatal depression symptoms and social support, respectively. These were returned by participants via e-mail. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS. Results: The mean MSE score at six weeks postnatally was 74.92 (SD = 11.05), and increased to 77.78 (SD = 11.13) at 12 weeks postnatally. The mean social support scores at six and 12 weeks postnatally were 40.99 (SD = 9.31) and 43.00 (SD = 9.55). The mean EPDS scores decreased from 9.09 (SD = 4.33) at six weeks postnatally to 8.63 (SD = 4.40) at 12 weeks postnatally; the proportion of women with an EPDS score of ten or more and 13 or more at the two time points declined from 47.4% to 38.3%, and from 21.4% to 18.2%, respectively. Conclusions: In this study, Chinese primiparous women had a moderate level of MSE and received a moderate level of social support at six and 12 weeks postnatally, and a higher proportion of Chinese women had postnatal depression symptoms than did women in Western countries. From six to 12 weeks postnatally, the mean MSE scores and social support scores had a statistically significant increase; the mean EPDS scores had a statistically significant decrease
open access article
Citation : Zheng, X., Morrell, J. and Watts, K. (2018) Changes in maternal self-efficacy, postnatal depression symptoms and social support among Chinese primiparous women during the initial postpartum period: A longitudinal study. Midwifery,62, pp.151-160.
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes