Background: Postnatal depression is an important public health problem worldwide. Recent evidence suggests that rates may be relatively higher in developing countries. We aimed to explore the prevalence of postnatal depression and its association with social support and other risk factors in a sample of Pakistani women.
Methods: Population-based survey of 149 women at 12 weeks postnatal using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ).
Results: Thirty six percent women scored ≥12 on EPDS. High depression score was associated with lower social support, increased stressful life events in the preceding year and higher levels of psychological distress in the antenatal period.
Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of postnatal depression in Pakistani women. Early interventions should be developed that target the antenatal period and strengthen social support networks in women at risk.
Keywords: Postnatal depression; mental health; social support; Pakistan.
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