The Prevalence of Maternal Depression in a Primary Care Setting, in a Small Island State with a High GNI per Capita
Objective: The aim of this study is to measure the prevalence of maternal depression in a primary care setting in North-Central Trinidad a small island developing country and to determine its socioeconomic, geographic and health-related risk factors.
Methods: A cross sectional observational study to determine the point prevalence of maternal depression in women attending primary care facilities in North Central Trinidad was conducted. The population consisted of all pregnant women attending primary care facilities. The systematic sample of 400 women was taken. A two part questionnaire was administered after informed verbal consent. The questionnaire collected demographic data and the nine item PHQ questionnaire was administered.
Results: Six hundred and two patients were entered into the study, consisting of 441 antenatal women and 161 postnatal women. The point prevalence of post partum depression was 38.5(95% CI 31.046.5), and prenatal depression 49.7%.
Conclusion: The study provides evidence that MD is common in the developing world, detection and treatment therefore must be a priority as children born to mothers with depression have more behavioral problems, more psychiatric illness, more visits to pediatricians, lower IQ scores, and attachment issues.