R. Jeanne Ruiz
- Network Structure of Perinatal Depressive Symptoms in Latinas
- Relationship to Stress and Reproductive Biomarkers
- RESEARCH IN NURSING & HEALTH
- Volume | Issue number
- 40 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Based on emerging evidence, mood disorders can be plausibly conceptualized as networks of causally interacting symptoms, rather than as latent variables of which symptoms are passive indicators. In an innovative approach in nursing research, we used network analysis to estimate the network structure of 20 perinatal depressive (PND) symptoms. Then, two proof-of-principle analyses are presented: Incorporating stress and reproductive biomarkers into the network, and comparing the network structure of PND symptoms between non-depressed and depressed women. We analyzed data from a cross-sectional sample of 515 Latina women at the second trimester of pregnancy and estimated networks using regularized partial correlation network models. The main analysis yielded five strong symptom-to-symptom associations (e.g., cry—sadness), and five symptoms of potential clinical importance (i.e., high centrality) in the network. In exploring the relationship of PND symptoms to stress and reproductive biomarkers (proof-of-principle analysis 1), a few weak relationships were found. In a comparison of non-depressed and depressed women's networks (proof-of-principle analysis 2), depressed participants had a more connected network of symptoms overall, but the networks did not differ in types of relationships (the network structures). We hope this first report of PND symptoms as a network of interacting symptoms will encourage future network studies in the realm of PND research, including investigations of symptom-to-biomarker mechanisms and interactions related to PND. Future directions and challenges are discussed.
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