CORDIS - EU research results

Addressing Postpartum Depression in Refugees: Impact on Infants and the Role of Home Visiting Programs

Project description

Refugees suffering from postpartum depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common mental mood disorder that occurs after childbirth. It affects the mother’s ability to take care of her child. Refugee women are particularly affected by PPD. Even though there are innovative home visiting programmes in many countries, the subject has never been submitted to scientific research. The EU-funded REFUDEPRE project aims to understand the impact PPD has on refugee women and their children. It will also assess the effectiveness of the home visiting programmes led by nurses in providing support to both the woman and child after birth. Analysis of the Danish Child Health Database and interviews with nurses and refugee women will serve as the base for this research.


REFUDEPRE will take a mixed-methods approach to understand the burden of postpartum depression on refugee women and their offspring and shed light on the role of home visiting programs lead by health nurses to support the mental health of refugees after giving birth.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) is the most common mental health disorder after birth, and refugee women are at increased risk of developing it. When untreated, PPD can interfere with the mother’s ability to care for her baby and thus impact the development of the child. However, no research to date has studied these links among refugees, who are also exposed to other social risk factors that affect both maternal and child health. Besides, few studies have investigated refugee mothers’ mental health needs after pregnancy, and evidence on psychosocial interventions that support such mental health needs is lacking. Building on the analysis of the Danish Child Health Database (CHD), and qualitative interviews to refugee and health nurses participating in the innovative Health Nurses Strengthen integration, the Danish home visiting program for refugee families, I will be able to fill these gaps. Given the increased flow of refugees in Europe, results will be both academically relevant and informative to the design of public health programs and policies aimed at reducing mental health inequalities in refugee groups.

I will significantly benefit from a placement at the Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity, and Health (MESU) at University of Copenhagen as it congregates experts in the field of immigrant and refugee health connected to a large network of international researchers and policymakers. With the support of the MSCA fellowship, I will also acquire skills in using large national and register databases and will be able to apply my expertise in qualitative methods to unpack the mental health benefits of home visiting for refugee women.


Net EU contribution
€ 219 312,00
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 219 312,00