Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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Prevalence of antenatal depressive symptoms and associated factors among pregnant women in Maichew, North Ethiopia: an institution based study

Tilahun Belete Mossie, Adam Kiros Sibhatu, Abate Dargie, Ashenafi Damte Ayele


Background: Antenatal depression is one of the common problems during pregnancy with a magnitude of 20% to 30% globally. It can negatively endanger women’s and off springs lives. As there are scarce reports on this area in Northern Ethiopia, it is important to carry out different studies that explore the magnitude of the problem and related factors in rural areas. The aim of this study is thus to assess the magnitude of antenatal depressive symptoms and associated factors among women at Maichew Town, North Ethiopia.

Methods: A facility based cross sectional study was conducted among 196 pregnant women from April to June 2015. Pregnant women who had antenatal care follow-ups at the public health facilities were included in the study. Through proportional allocation to each facility, systematic random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. We used the local language version of Beck Depression Inventory to assess depressive symptoms with a cutoff point of 14 or more. Data was collected by trained Psychiatric Nurses; data entry and analysis were processed by SPSS window 20. The level of significance was determined using odds ratio and 95% confidence interval.

Result: About 16.3% of the participants had never given birth before, and 46.4% and 42.3% were in the third and second trimesters of pregnancy respectively. Unwanted pregnancy was reported by 25.5% of the participants. Among those with previous pregnancy, 7.1% had previous obstetric complication. The magnitude of depression was 31.1%. Pregnant women with low level of income (AOR=3.66 (95%CI; 1.12, 11.96)), unmarried (AOR=4.07 (95% CI; 1.18, 14.04)) and house wives (AOR= 4.24 (1.38, 13.03)) were risk groups for depression.

Conclusion: Antenatal depression is a common problem; thus screening activities of depression in antenatal care services should be emphasized with more concern to unmarried women, those with low level of income and house wives.

Keywords: Antenatal depression, Mental Distress, Depression, Depression during pregnancy
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