Postnatal depression and its association with adverse infant health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abel Fekadu Dadi, Emma Miller, Lillian Mwanri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background
Postnatal Depression (PND) is a mood disorder that steals motherhood and affects the health and development of a newborn. While the impact of PND on motherhood and newborn in developed countries are well described, its epidemiology and health consequences in infant is not well known in middle-and low-income countries. The objective of this review was to determine the burden and association of PND with adverse infant health outcomes in low-and middle- income countries.

Methods
We searched observational studies written in the English language and conducted in middle-and low-income countries between December 1st, 2007, and December 31st, 2017. The CINHAL, MEDLINE, Emcare, PubMed, Psych Info, and Scopus databases were searched for the following search terms: PND, acute respiratory infection, pneumonia, diarrhea, exclusive breastfeeding, common infant illnesses, and malnutrition. We excluded studies in which the primary outcomes were not measured following a standardized approach. We have meta-analyzed the estimates from primary studies by adjusting for possible publication bias and heterogeneity. The analysis was conducted in Stata 14. The study was registered in PROSPERO protocol number CRD42017082624.

Result
Fifty-eight studies on PND prevalence (among 63,293 women) and 17 studies (among 32,454 infants) on infant health outcomes were included. PND prevalence was higher in the low-income countries (Pooled prevalence (PP) = 25.8%; 95%CI: 17.9–33.8%) than in the middle-income countries (PP = 20.8%; 95%CI: 18.4–23.1%) and reached its peak in five to ten weeks after birth. Poor obstetric history and social support, low economic and educational status, and history of exposure to violence were associated with an increased risk of PND. The risk of having adverse infant health outcomes was 31% higher among depressed compared to non-depressed postnatal mothers (Pooled relative risk (PRR) = 1.31; 95%CI: 1.17–1.48). Malnutrition (1.39; 1.21–1.61), non-exclusive breastfeeding (1.55; 1.39–1.74), and common infant illnesses (2.55; 1.41–4.61) were the main adverse health outcomes identified.

Conclusions
One in four and one in five postnatal mothers were depressed in low and middle-income countries, respectively. Causes of depression could be explained by social, maternal, and psychological constructs. High risk of adverse infant health outcomes was associated with PND. Timely screening of PND and evidence-based interventions were a pressing need in low and middle-income countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number416
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Keywords

  • Adverse infant health outcomes
  • And middle-income countries
  • Low
  • Meta-analysis
  • Postnatal depression
  • Systematic review

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