Relationship between the Noto-Peninsula earthquake and maternal postnatal depression and child-rearing

Yuri Hibino, Jiro Takaki, Yasuhiro Kambayashi, Yoshiaki Hitomi, Akemi Sakai, Naomi Sekizuka, Keiki Ogino, Hiroyuki Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The aim of our study was to explore the relationship between a medium-scale earthquake and maternal depression and child-rearing in a depopulated community in the Noto Peninsula of Japan. Methods Three months after a major earthquake, selfrating questionnaires were distributed to women who were pregnant at the time of the earthquake or who became pregnant immediately thereafter, and who were receiving care at any of four major hospitals in the most devastated area. A total of 155 women who had given birth returned the completed questionnaire for analysis. Maternal postnatal depression among the participants was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Results The EPDS score was significantly associated with decreased satisfaction with delivery (β = -0.28, p = 0.01), increased artificial lactation (β = 0.31, p = 0.002), and increased trouble with infant care (β = 0.47, p<0.001) in multivariate analysis. It was also significantly associated with increased anxiety about earthquakes (β = 0.30, p = 0.001), and anxiety about earthquakes was significantly associated with increased fear of the earthquake (β = 0.20, p = 0.04). Conclusions Earthquake-related factors such as anxiety about earthquakes and fear of the earthquake did not have a direct effect on child-rearing factors; however, they did have a significant relationship with increased EPDS. Based on these results, we conclude that screening strategies for maternal depression in peri- and postnatal women under emergency circumstances are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Child-rearing
  • Depopulated
  • Earthquake
  • Maternal postnatal depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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