Healthcare costs of paternal depression in the postnatal period
Edoka IP., Petrou S., Ramchandani PG.
Background: There is growing evidence that fathers experience depressive symptoms following the birth of a child. The aim of this study was to estimate the healthcare costs of paternal postnatal depression, thereby informing research into cost-effective preventative and treatment interventions for the condition. Methods: Data on healthcare resource-use over the first 12 months postpartum was collected from 192 fathers recruited from two postnatal wards in southern England. Three groups of fathers were identified: fathers with depression (n = 31), fathers at high risk of developing depression (n = 67) and fathers without depression (n = 94). Results: Mean father-child dyad costs were estimated at £1103.51, £1075.06 and £945.03 (£ sterling, 2008 prices) in these three groups, respectively (P = 0.796). After controlling for potentially confounding factors, paternal depression was associated with significantly higher community care costs. Conclusion: This study provides useful preliminary insights into the healthcare costs associated with paternal depression during the postnatal period. Limitation: The small sample size may, in part, account for the failure to detect statistically significant differences in mean costs between study groups for most cost categories. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.