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

01 Dic 2010
Hanlon C, Medhin G, Alem A, Araya M, Abdulahi A, Tomlinson M, Hughes M, Patel V, Dewey M, Prince M

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.