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Prevalence of Depression among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinics in Pakistan

Background: Depression is primarily a mood disorder affecting every 1 in 4 women at some point in time during their life, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this illness can also find its way to women who are with child. But much often, depression is misdiagnosed at the time pregnancy because mostly hormonal fluctuations that occurs in a woman are thought to be bringing about such changes. In hope of a way to diagnose at a very initial stage and further on apply preventive measures, prevalence of depression among pregnant women must be determined first. Data available to us that shows how prevalent depression is during pregnancy vary considerably. We are in need of a relatively more concise estimate that is essential to identify the level of disease burden that depression brings and develop strategies for managing depressive disorders.

Objective: To determine prevalence of depression among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Karachi, Pakistan.

Methods: Data was collected in the period of January-March 2017 from 300 pregnant women, by random sampling, during their antenatal visits in Lady Dufferin Hospital & Jinnah Medical College Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. Standard depression scale i.e. “Hamilton rating scale for depression” was made use of and score more than 7 was taken as depression according to its standard scoring scale. Analysis of the result was done with the help of the SPSS software. Chi-Square test was also applied.

Results: 81% prevalence of depression is among the pregnant women of Karachi. Mild depression is more prevalent (35.7%), then there is moderate (29.0%), severe (11.0%) & least prevalent is very severe form of depression (5.3%). 0.011 was the P value which is statistically significant.

Conclusion: Data indicates a high level of depression in pregnant women of Pakistan, 81%. Depression is more prevalent in women with young age, those who have less number of parity & gravida and the ones that live in a joint family system.


Iram Saddiqa Aamir

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