255189 Postpartum Depression in Mothers of Sick Newborns in Ghana

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Katherine J. Gold, MD, MSW, MS , Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Kathryn Spangenberg, MD, FGCP , Family Medicine, Polyclinic Directorate, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
Priscilla Wobil, MBChB, FWACP , Child Health Directorate, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
Gordon Donnir, MBChB, MGCP, MBA , Department of Psychiatry, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
Thomas L. Schwenk, MD , Division of Health Sciences, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV
Background: Pregnancy and the postpartum are vulnerable periods for maternal mental health globally, but there is sparse data about postpartum depression in low-income nations. In such countries, maternal depression has been associated not only with maternal morbidity but also with higher prevalence of poor infant nutritional status, diarrhea, respiratory illness, and growth stunting, all of which put young children at significantly greater risk of mortality.

Methods: We interviewed mothers with hospitalized newborns in Kumasi, Ghana and assessed postpartum depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire. We evaluated depression scores and conducted multivariable linear regression controlling for demographics, pregnancy variables, and personal/social risk factors for depression, and prior pregnancy or infant loss as potential confounders.

Results: Of 153 mothers with hospitalized infants, 70% of mothers endorsed symptoms of at least mild depression, and 37% had symptoms of moderate or severe depression. In multivariable analysis, only fair or poor self-rated health status predicted higher depression scores. Among the total cohort, a third reported a past history of depression, nearly a third had a history of prior loss, and a quarter reported their current health status as fair or poor. Nearly half reported interpersonal violence with a current partner.

Conclusions: A huge majority of mothers with sick infants in Ghana had symptoms of postpartum depression. Given the clear link between maternal depression and poor infant outcomes, this research suggests a significant need to address postpartum mental health and subsequent neonatal morbidity and mortality in this population.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To describe the prevalence of postpartum depression among mothers of sick newborns in Kumasi, Ghana. To identify potential comorbid risk factors for depression in this population

Keywords: Mental Health, Maternal Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary investigator.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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