Antenatal depression in East Asia: A review of the literature

David Beck Schatz, Mei Chun Hsiao, Chia Yih Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Tis current study's goal is to summarize the literature regarding Antenatal Depression (AD) in the East Asian countries of Taiwan, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Japan, and Korea. Te main search utilized a Pub med Chinese Electronic Periodical Service (CEPS) literature review using keywords AD', and 'Prenatal Depression' with searches for 'Japan', 'Korea', 'Taiwan', 'Hong Kong' and Macau'. Te rates of AD in East Asia appear to be relatively close to those in the Western literature, although certain studies showed slightly decreased rates. Many of the risk factors for AD were the same in the Eastern and Western literature. These risk factors included demo graphic factors such as younger age, smoking, low education and income, and unemployment. Other risk factors were physical symptoms such as menstrual pains and nausea. Finally, psychological factors such as a poor response to the pregnancy, poor spousal support, and poor family support were associated with AD. With regard to treatment, there were no studies examining the administration of psychotropic medications for AD. Te literature from East Asia both confirmed many Western findings and made unique contributions to the literature on AD. Te treatment of AD in East Asia appears to be an entity which, despite its morbidity, has not been adequately studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 06 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antenatal depression
  • Cross-cultural
  • Women's health


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