Economics and Business Economics

PhD defence at National Centre for Register-based Research: Benedicte Marie Winther Johannsen

Topic: Postpartum psychiatric spectrum episodes: What is the prognosis?

Info about event


Friday 17 September 2021,  at 14:00 - 16:00


Jeppe Vontilius auditoriet, Søauditorierne - Bartholins Allé 3, 8000 Aarhus C

Postpartum psychiatric episodes (PPEs) constitute a heterogenic group of psychiatric disorders affecting women in the initial postpartum months. They range in severities from mild depressive symptoms to severe psychotic episodes and also vary in timing of onset. The existing evidence is limited concerning the prognosis of this selected group of psychiatric patients with PPE.

Consequently, this Ph.D. project including four studies aimed to investigate prognostic outcomes after PPEs including mortality, somatic comorbidity, suicidal behavior, and divorce/separation. Additionally, a study was conducted aiming to provide absolute risk estimates for developing PPEs provided the presence of known early personal and genetic risk factors.

For all studies included in this PhD project longitudinal data from the Danish national registries was utilized, including the Danish Civil Registration System, The Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register, The Danish National Patient Register, The National Prescription Registry, and the Danish Register of Causes of Death. Genetic data for the fourth study included in this project was drawn from the iPSYCH2012 study sample.

The results from this PhD project showed that across the range of PPE diagnosis women are at increased risk of various adverse long-term outcomes. Ultimately the findings document that a diagnosis of postpartum psychiatric episode can have a range of serious consequences for the mothers and but also the new families affected by it.

Assessment committee:

Associate professor Christina C. Dahm. Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark

Professor Lisa Jones, University of Worcester, United Kingdom

Professor Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Section of Epidemiology, Copenhagen University, Denmark


Professor Trine Munk-Olsen, Forskningsenheden for Psykiatri, OUH Klinisk Institut, Syddansk Universitet, Center for Registerforskning, Aarhus Universitet, Main supervisor

Professor Thomas Munk Laursen, National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University

Associate professor Bodil Hammer Bech, Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University

The defence is open to the public and can be accessed virtually by the following ZOOM link:

For more information, please contact PhD student Benedicte Marie Winther Johannsen, email: