Risk factors influencing postpartum depression among women attending postnatal clinic at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.

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April 2015
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The postpartum as well as pregnancy periods are associated with profound physical and emotional changes, which are also associated with mental disorders and symptoms ranging from mild to psychotic. Postpartum depression is a major public health concern known to affect an estimated 13% of pregnant women. This study was conducted to assess the extent of postpartum depression as well as factors influencing postpartum depression among mothers in the Kumasi metropolis. The cross-sectional study, conducted in the Kumasi metropolis and involved 440 randomly selected mothers who have delivered and are within the first 6 weeks postpartum. A simple random sampling technique was employed and data were gathered with the use of questionnaires. The Edinburgh scale of postnatal depression was used to measure presence of symptoms of depressive illness. Data were analysed using STATA 11. A multivariable regression model was fitted to assess factors influencing postpartum depression among. Statistical significance was tested at p <0.05. 22.3% of respondents scored above 10 on the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale, suggestive of PPD. About 41% however had never heard of PPD. The most cited source of information among those who had heard was family and friends. Mood changes before, during and after pregnancy had significant influence on PPD. Women who had never experienced mood swings during pregnancy also had odds of suffering PPD that was lesser than their counterparts in the same category (OR=0.41; 95% CI=0.22 - 0.75). The known predictors of PPD in this study were age, mood changes, relationship with baby’s father and partner’s support. Women who suffered mood swings before and during pregnancy had increased tendencies of suggestive PPD. Special screening programmes for early detection of histories of PPD and mood swings before and during pregnancies should be instituted. Partners and husbands should also be encouraged to support expectant mothers throughout the entire pregnancy and postpartum periods.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Population, Family & Reproductive Health College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Health in Population, Family and Reproductive Health, 2015