Prevalence and Clinical Presentations of Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Iranian Pregnant Women

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Addiction Institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

2 Department of Biostatistics, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences

3 Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences

4 Department of clinical psychology, University of social welfare and rehabilitation sciences


Introduction: Pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity are correlated with the heightened risk of the evolvement of postpartum obsessive-compulsive symptoms. This study aimed to inquire about the prevalence rate, clinical presentations, and relevant factors of postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms (OCS).
Method: This cross-sectional study evaluated OCD in the postpartum period of women referred to the Imam Hospital in Sari, Mazandaran province, Iran. The sample population included 359 pregnant women who delivered their babies during the first half of 2018. The samples were taken using the convenience sampling method. Patients who scored 12 or higher in the Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory completed the Yale-Browne Obsessive-Compulsive Scale self-report, and the Life Event Checklist were included in the study. Finally, data were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 24.
Results: The 359 mothers were in the range of 14 to 35 years old. Accordingly, 62.1% (223) were urban women while 37.9% (136) were rural, 20.6% (74) had preterm infants, 56.8% (204) term infants, and 22.3% (80) were post-term. Maudsley’s test showed that 48.5% (174) of the mothers had a positive OCD result. The total scorein Yale-Brown was significant, and had a reverse correlation with the mother’s residency (t = -173, p = 0.02) and significant correlation with the age of a pregnancy (t = 269, p= 0.001(.
Conclusion: According to the results of the Maudsley test, women are at risk of OCD during the postpartum period. Actually, OCD affects the mother-baby relation, mother’s anxiety, and depression and should be addressed during womens’ postpartum clinical care.


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