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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2018 Oct-Dec;9(4):473-477. doi: 10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_535_17.

Perception and Attitude toward Mental Illness in Antenatal Mothers in Rural Population of Southern India: A Cross-Sectional Study.

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Department of Community Medicine, USM-KLE IMP, Belagavi, Karnataka, India.
Department of Psychiatry, J.N. Medical College, KLE University, Belagavi, Karnataka, India.



Mental health disorders globally are on a rise due to various reasons. Gender differences have been one of the reasons. Pregnancy is a stressful event in mothers and it can either exacerbate preexisting mental illness or can give rise to other mental health disorders. Studies have shown that women residing in rural areas are at higher risk of developing mental health problems. Mental health problems have detrimental effects in post-partum period. Most of the complications can be prevented if psychiatric symptoms are detected in early part of pregnancy and if women are aware of these symptoms.


To find the awareness, attitude and perception towards mental illness in antenatal mothers residing in rural area of India.

Setting and Design:

It's a descriptive cross sectional study conducted at primary health care centers.

Methods and Materials:

Total of 300 antenatal mothers attending primary health care centers were recruited into the study after a written informed consent was obtained.

Statistical Analysis:

Basic socio demographic data were collected and a semi structured questionnaire was designed. The participants were interviewed according to the questionnaire. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS software.

Results and Conclusion:

The mean age of the study participants was 24+5. Of the 300 study participants more than 90% were unaware that mental illness can occur during pregnancy and only around 07% could agree say that it can occur in pregnancy. There is poor awareness of mental health problems amongst pregnant women residing in rural part of southern India. The reasons for the same are lack of awareness, low levels of education, lower socio economic status, cultural beliefs and practices, lack of mental health services and stigma associated with mental illness. There is no routine screening for mental health problems during antenatal visits. If done otherwise could bring down adverse maternal outcome.


Antenatal mothers; attitude and perception; mental illness

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