Postnatal depression among mothers in the United Arab Emirates: Socio-cultural and physical factors

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Psychology, Health and Medicine


Postnatal depression (PND) has been found to affect women in cultures around the world. This study sought to further identify the prevalence and related socio-cultural and physical factors in Arab women from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study involved a sample of Emirati women recruited in a government maternity hospital in Abu Dhabi who completed demographic questionnaires soon after giving birth (n=125) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 3 months (n=86) and 6 months postpartum (n=56). Data are presented in three categories of: No Depression (scores of 0-9), Borderline Depression (scores of 10-12) and Depression (scores of 13+). It was found that at 3 months, this sample had 22% of mothers falling into the Depression category and another 22% falling in the Borderline Depression category. At 6 months, this fell to 12.5% Depression category and 19.6% Borderline Depression category. Relationships between higher depression scores and risk factors included; not breastfeeding, giving birth to the first child, poor self body image and view of weight, poor relationship with mother-in-law, and an older age at marriage. Results are discussed in relation to UAE and Islamic culture. © 2006 Taylor & Francis.

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