Highland Medical Research Journal

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Postpartum depression: The burden and determinants in resource constrained environments

I. Tor-Anyiin, T.J. Igbudu


Background: Depression occurring after delivery of a baby can be missed especially in resource constrained environments. Constraint in personnel and a low diagnostic index are probable reasons. A low diagnostic index or delay in diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression (PPD) has adverse consequences on the family dynamics.
Objective: The study aimed at determining the burden of postpartum depression that was missed after the first postnatal follow up visit at a tertiary hospital in Makurdi, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of postpartum women at the immunization clinic at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi using the a semi-structured questionnaire containing the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS) to assess for depression with a diagnostic cut off of 10 was done.
Results: Three hundred and thirty postpartum women were assessed and the burden of PPD that was missed during a postnatal visit was 27.6%. No correlation was found between any social or economic demographics and PPD.
Conclusion: The prevalence of missed PPD in Makurdi is high (27.6%), hence the need for high diagnostic index of suspicion and routine screening by the primary care physicians. Social or economic demographics alone should not be criteria for its suspicion.

Key words: missed postpartum depression, determinants, prevalence

AJOL African Journals Online