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Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;197(6):468-75. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.076497.

Sociocultural practices in Ethiopia: association with onset and persistence of postnatal common mental disorders.

Author information

1
Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK. charlotte.hanlon@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Traditional perinatal practices may protect against postnatal common mental disorders (CMD) in non-Western societies.

AIMS:

To evaluate the association between perinatal practices and postnatal CMD in rural Ethiopia.

METHOD:

A population-based sample of 1065 women was followed up from pregnancy until 2 months postpartum. Qualitative investigation informed the development of scales measuring attitudes towards and adherence to perinatal practices. Postnatal CMD was measured using the Self-Reporting Questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Endorsement of sociocultural perinatal practices was associated with lower odds of antenatal CMD persisting into the postnatal period (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.66, 95% CI 0.45-0.95). Women who endorsed protective and celebratory perinatal practices but were unable to complete them had increased odds of incident (adjusted OR = 7.26, 95% CI 1.38-38.04) and persistent postnatal CMD (adjusted OR = 2.16, 95% CI 1.11-4.23) respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is evidence for an independent role of sociocultural practices in maintaining perinatal mental health in this Ethiopian community.

PMID:
21119153
PMCID:
PMC2994937
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.109.076497
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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