Event Title

Maternal mental health and its link with child development: An exploratory study

Location

Auditorium Pond Side

Start Date

26-2-2014 10:30 AM

Abstract

Background: World Health Organization estimates that one out of four individuals can expect to experience mental health problems during lifetime. The prevalence of depression is high globally and the risk of depression amongst women is approximately two fold higher than in men. Research in developing countries suggests that poor maternal mental health may be a risk factor for poor growth and development in young children. This study explores mother’s and father’s perception regarding maternal mental health and its link with child development.

Method: A qualitative study was conducted to explore parent’s perception regarding women mental health. Nine focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in three districts of Balouchistan (Quetta, Gwadar and Qilla Saifullah) with mothers and fathers of birth to eight years old children. Semi structured guideline were used and FGDs were recorded with participants consent. The data was transcribed, as verbatim and analyzed through Nvivo version 2.

Results: Majority of the participants’ characteristics of defined a mentally unhealthy woman as one who has lots of physical complaints, gets angry on little things, is irritable and has lack of sleep. Participants highlighted that mental health problems not only affected mother’s own life but she is also unable to provide good care and nurturance to the child negatively affecting child’s health and mental condition. Multiple children, poverty, negative attitude of the in-laws, strained relationship with husband and lack of social support were identified as major causes of women mental health problems. They also identified that medical services and support mechanism are not available.

Conclusions: There is good understanding of maternal mental health and its relationship with child development. A lack of provision of mental health services, coping mechanism and social support was identified that needs to be addressed.

Keywords: women mental health, child development, exploratery study, Pakistan

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Feb 26th, 10:30 AM

Maternal mental health and its link with child development: An exploratory study

Auditorium Pond Side

Background: World Health Organization estimates that one out of four individuals can expect to experience mental health problems during lifetime. The prevalence of depression is high globally and the risk of depression amongst women is approximately two fold higher than in men. Research in developing countries suggests that poor maternal mental health may be a risk factor for poor growth and development in young children. This study explores mother’s and father’s perception regarding maternal mental health and its link with child development.

Method: A qualitative study was conducted to explore parent’s perception regarding women mental health. Nine focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in three districts of Balouchistan (Quetta, Gwadar and Qilla Saifullah) with mothers and fathers of birth to eight years old children. Semi structured guideline were used and FGDs were recorded with participants consent. The data was transcribed, as verbatim and analyzed through Nvivo version 2.

Results: Majority of the participants’ characteristics of defined a mentally unhealthy woman as one who has lots of physical complaints, gets angry on little things, is irritable and has lack of sleep. Participants highlighted that mental health problems not only affected mother’s own life but she is also unable to provide good care and nurturance to the child negatively affecting child’s health and mental condition. Multiple children, poverty, negative attitude of the in-laws, strained relationship with husband and lack of social support were identified as major causes of women mental health problems. They also identified that medical services and support mechanism are not available.

Conclusions: There is good understanding of maternal mental health and its relationship with child development. A lack of provision of mental health services, coping mechanism and social support was identified that needs to be addressed.

Keywords: women mental health, child development, exploratery study, Pakistan