Sociodemographic and Obstetric Risk Factors for Postpartum Depressive Symptoms in Nigerian Women
Objective: Studies from the Western culture have emphasized psychosocial risk factors for the development of postnatal depression (PND). In Africa, poor obstetrics practice and sociodemographic factors may contribute significantly to the risk of PND. The goal of this study was to examine sociodemographic and obstetric risk factors for postnatal depressive symptoms in a Nigerian community. Methods: 876 women recruited at 6 weeks postpartum from the postnatal and infant immunization clinics of 5 participating health centers were screened with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Sociodemographic and obstetric information were also obtained through a structured questionnaire. Results: The mean EPDS score was 5.66 (SD = 4.20). Depression was diagnosed in 128 (14.6%) of the postpartum women. The predictors of PND include hospital admissions during the pregnancy (OR 3.95, CI 2.57 - 6.07), female sex of the baby (OR 2.74, CI 1.87 - 4.03), preterm delivery (OR 4.21, CI 2.78 - 6.39), instrumental delivery (OR 3.32, CI 1.79 - 6.16), Casarean section (OR 3.58, CI 1.72 - 7.48), and being single (OR 3.44, CI. 2.15 - 5.53). Conclusion: Although the prevalence of PND symptoms seems to be the same across cultures, risk factors differ significantly. This study identified certain sociodemographic and obstetric risk factors for postnatal depressive symptoms in an underdeveloped community. These factors must be taken into consideration when planning intervention and preventive strategies for these women.