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A Cross sectional study on social factors responsible for mental morbidity among pregnant women

Keerti S Jogdand Pravin N Yerpude

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Introduction: Pregnancy is often considered as the golden period in woman’s life. There are physical as well as mental challenges faced by them during that period, while apparent physical problems are often addressed but the challenges related to mental health often go undiagnosed .

Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are very common during pregnancy and after childbirth in all parts of the world. Nearly 20% of women suffer from mental health disorders during gestation which causes significant morbidity for mother as well as child worldwide.

Materials and methods:Study subjects included in the study were pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of the hospital. After taking consent from them, participants was screened for Mental health by using Goldberg’s 6 item General Health Questionnaire. Those who answered ‘YES’ for at least one question were considered as mentally ill and assessed the severity of mental illness by using Hamilton ‘D’ scale for depression and Hamilton ‘A’ scale for anxiety.

Results: Out of 254 pregnant women 113(44.49%) were having mental morbidity and 141(55.51%) were normal. Among those with mental morbidity, 54 (21.26%) were having mild depression, 13(5.12%) were having anxiety and 17 (6.69%) were having both anxiety with depression  .Social factors like occupation of husband,domestic violence,support of husband,addiction of alcohol in husband were found to be statistically significant with mental morbidity in pregnant women.

Conclusion: The study   shows that a substantial number of pregnant women screened in obstetrics settings have significant symptoms of depression, and most of them are not being monitored effectively during this vulnerable time. This information may be used to justify and streamline systematic screening for depression in clinical encounters with pregnant women as a first step in determining which women may require further treatment for their symptoms of mental illness.

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