The frequency of obsessive-compulsive disorder in women before marriage, ‎during pregnancy and postpartum periods

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc. in nursing, Instructor and ‎membership of scientific board, ‎Mashhad Universityof Medical ‎Sciences

2 M.Sc.student in psychonursing, ‎Mashhad University of Medical ‎Sciences

3 M.Sc. in midwifery, Instructor ‎and membership of scientific ‎board, Mashhad University of ‎Medical Sciences

4 M.Sc. in biostatistics, Instructor ‎and membership of scientific ‎board, Mashhad University of ‎Medical Sciences


Introduction: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most disabled anxiety disorders. Due to the increasing of anxiety level which has seen during pregnancy, the aim of this study was to investigate frequency and severity of obsessive- compulsive disorders before marriage, during pregnancy and postpartum periods in women who referred to health centers of Mashhad in 2012,  
Materials and Methods: This descriptive-comparative study was performed on 900 women (500 before marriage, 200 pregnant and 200 postpartum) who referred to health centers of Mashhad in 2012, based on multi-stage sampling. Data were collected by Moudsley obsessive-compulsive inventory, Yale Brown obsessive-compulsive and Edinburg depression. Data were analyzed by SPSS software using descriptive and analytic statistics.
Results: The frequency of obsessive-compulsive disorders in non-pregnant women was 4%, pregnant 18.5% and postpartum 24%. The 3 groups had a significant difference with each other (P=0.000). Mean standard scores (0 to 100) of obsessive-compulsive disorders, in four fields included doubt, revision, slow and washing was 70.0, 61.1, 44.3 and 40.9, respectively. Mean scores of obsessive-compulsive severity in non-pregnant women was 15.9±7.1, pregnant 20.6±4.5 and postpartum 20.9±5.1, in addition the difference between groups was significant (P=0.007).
Conclusion: According to the results, women in  pregnancy and postpartum periods are associated with increased risk of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder. So it is necessary that national health authorities attended to mental health of mothers in pregnancy and postpartum periods.


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