Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Supervisor

Dr. Bin Xie

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Campbell

Abstract

Seeking healthcare information can increase an individual’s health knowledge and improve self-care capabilities. Despite recognition that information may influence health behaviours, there is limited research on the explicit relationship between acquired pre- and postnatal health information levels and postpartum depression (PPD). Data for primiparous and multiparous subjects were analyzed from the 2006 Maternity Experiences Survey developed by Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The first objective examines pathways of women’s pre- and postnatal health information levels. The second objective assesses the influence of information levels on PPD development. A Multiple-Indicator Multiple- Cause (MIMIC) model was designed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) as the outcome measure. Income and perceived level of prenatal and postnatal social support were statistically significant predictors of acquired information levels. Increased information levels on ‘postnatal concerns’, ‘medical concerns’, ‘negative feelings’ and Tabour/birth experience’ topics were significantly associated with lower EPDS scores.

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