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Authors

  1. Letourneau, Nicole PhD, RN
  2. Tryphonopoulos, Panagiota D. BN, RN
  3. Duffett-Leger, Linda PhD, RN
  4. Stewart, Miriam PhD, FRSC, FCAHS
  5. Benzies, Karen PhD, RN
  6. Dennis, Cindy-Lee PhD, RN
  7. Joschko, Justin MA

Abstract

The effect of postpartum depression (PPD) on mothers has been extensively studied. But even though up to 50% of men whose partners suffer from PPD also have depressive symptoms, little is known about the impact of maternal PPD on fathers. Depressive symptoms are likely to decrease fathers' ability to provide maternal support. Children with 2 depressed parents are at significantly greater risk for poor developmental outcomes than those with 1 affected parent. The objective of this Canada-wide exploratory/descriptive study was to describe the support needs and preferences for support of fathers whose partners have had PPD. Qualitative methods and community-based research approaches were used, and one-to-one telephone interviews were conducted between 2009 and 2011 with a total of 40 fathers. Fathers desired support from both formal (professional) and informal (friends and family) sources and noted that ideal support interventions should cover a number of key topics including information on PPD and practical tips on how to cope with their partner's PPD. Fathers reported that the ideal PPD intervention program does not favor any one setup and, to reach the full spectrum of parents, the program must be multitiered, accessible, and as flexible as funding allows.