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Background: Post-natal depression is a common condition that can result in distress for the mother and deleterious effects on the development of the infant. Aims: To estimate the economic costs of post-natal depression in a geographically defined cohort of women at high risk of developing the condition. Method: Unit costs were applied to estimates of health and social care resource use made by 206 women recruited from antenatal clinics and their infants. Net costs per mother-infant dyad over the first 18 months post-partum were estimated. Results: Mean mother-infant dyad costs were estimated at £2419.00 for women with post-natal depression and £2026,90 for women without post-natal depression, a mean cost difference of £392.10 (P=0.17). The mean cost differences between women with and without post-natal depression reached statistical significance for community care services (P=0.01), but not for other categories of service. Economic costs were higher for women with extended experiences of the condition. Conclusions: The results of this study should be used to facilitate the effective planning of services by different agencies.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Psychiatry

Publication Date





505 - 512