Postnatal depression among women availing maternal health services in a rural hospital in South India
Background and Objective: Postnatal depression, with an estimated prevalence of 13-19%, causes significant impairment of mental health among women worldwide and has long term consequences. However, more than half of all cases are not detected by healthcare providers. Screening for postnatal depression has not been given importance in maternal health programs in India. Our objective was to screen for postnatal depression among women attending a rural hospital in India, immediately postpartum and at 6-8 weeks post-delivery, and to study associated factors.
Methods: A cross sectional study was done on 123 postnatal women attending a rural maternity hospital in Karnataka, South India, of whom 74 women were interviewed within one week of childbirth, and 49 women at 6-8 weeks post-delivery. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was used to screen for postnatal depression.
Results: About 45.5% of the women screened positive for postnatal depression (44.6% of all subjects within one week of delivery and 46.9% at 6-8 weeks after delivery). Postnatal depression was significantly associated with mood swings during antenatal period, staying with the family of birth during pregnancy and away from their husbands, and was significantly higher among women who perceived their life as stressful and having a low self-esteem (P<0.05)
Conclusions: This study found a high prevalence of postnatal depression in women in rural Karnataka. This underlines the need for incorporating screening for postnatal depression in the routine care of women during pregnancy and delivery.
How to cite this:Johnson AR, Edwin S, Joachim N, Mathew G, Ajay S, Joseph B. Postnatal depression among women availing maternal health services in a rural hospital in South India. Pak J Med Sci 2015;31(2):408-413. Â doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.12669/pjms.312.6702
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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