International Journal of
Nursing and Midwifery

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Nurs. Midwifery
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2456
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJNM
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 212

Full Length Research Paper

Research trends and perspectives on the usefulness of oxytocin as a biomarker for postpartum depression

Atsuko Kawano
  • Atsuko Kawano
  • School of nursing, Jichi Medical University, Yakushiji Shimotsuke-shi, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.
  • Google Scholar
Chihoko Sankai
  • Chihoko Sankai
  • School of nursing, Jichi Medical University, Yakushiji Shimotsuke-shi, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 10 February 2022
  •  Accepted: 14 September 2022
  •  Published: 31 October 2022

Abstract

As postpartum depression has become a major problem, it is necessary to identify mothers who need intensive support to cope with this disorder. Therefore, by summarizing literature from the past five years, this study aimed to clarify the current progress of research on the usefulness of oxytocin as a biomarker for postpartum depression; it also aimed to discuss the prospects for future research based on these findings. Literature published from 2016 to 2020 that examined the relationship among postpartum psychological state, postpartum depression, and oxytocin using the Medical Journal Web and PubMed for local and international literature were reviewed respectively. The search was conducted using the following keywords: “oxytocin,” “postpartum,” “depression,” “anxiety,” “mentality,” “sensation” and “psychology.” Furthermore, research articles (original papers and research reports) were the main focus of the search. Seven articles were extracted from the search. All of them reported an association between oxytocin and maternal psychological state. However, the views among them differed, and studies on the usefulness of oxytocin as a biomarker of postpartum depression were limited. Although various methods have been utilized to measure oxytocin, this study highlights the need for more consistent research methods, accounting for individual differences and factors that may influence oxytocin levels, to ensure accurate oxytocin measurement. This will enable the development of preventative interventions in addressing postpartum depression.

Key words: Oxytocin, biomarker, mother, postpartum depression.