Depression in pregnancy and the puerperium in a tertiary health facility in Nigeria. A neglected area of practice
BACKGROUND: Depression is common in pregnancy in high-income-countries but rarely spoken about in Nigerian Tertiary Obstetric Centres.
OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to ascertain the prevalence and risk factors for major depression in pregnancy and puerperium at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and determine awareness of it among obstetricians.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study.Two hundred and five women from the obstetric and paediatric wards and clinics were interviewed in two stages.In the first stage,data on their socio-demographic characteristics, obstetric and medical history was collected while in the second, which followed immediately after the first, the MINI international neuropsychiatric questionnaire was used to collect data which was analysed on SPSS-19 software.
RESULTS: The prevalence of major depression in pregnancy and the puerperium was 9.76% but there was variation in the antenatal and postnatal periods of 9.57% and 16.98% respectively. The factors that were independently associated with major depression in pregnancy were domestic violence (P=0.008), single mothers (P=0.038) and past episode of major depression (P= 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Irrespective of the high prevalence of major depression in the pregnant population at the UPTH, obstetric practitioners are not aware of it.There is therefore the need for continuous medical and health education in mental health problem in pregnancy.