student, Makerere University Kampala
The study looks at depression among women in Kampala and factors that may influence it.
Prenatal depression is one of the most common adverse outcomes of conceiving among expectant women. Socio-economic status, intimate partner violence, and social support are associated with prenatal depression and may play an important role in exacerbating it. There is a possibility that prenatal depression in the presence of low socio-economic status and intimate partner violence as risk factors may not only affect the expectant woman psychologically but her social relationships could as well be affected leading to decreased social support. Often times prenatal depression goes undiagnosed and untreated which translates into deleterious consequences for the pregnant woman and the yet to be born child. Despite these implications, there were still several gaps in knowledge regarding prenatal depression especially in low and middle-income countries and Kampala, Uganda in particular. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between socio-economic status, intimate partner violence, social support and prenatal depression among expectant women and to compare the levels of social support among depressed and non-depressed expectant women in Kampala. The study used a correlation research design with a quantitative approach. The researcher used an interviews schedule to get the data. The interview schedule allowed the researcher to collect highly personalized information for aggregating. The findings of this study showed that the likelihood of prenatal depression was higher among women of low social economic status, especially if their social support levels were low, and if their emotional or psychological well-being was affected by their intimate partner. Women of low socio-economic status that had strong social support systems were not as depressed compared to those with poor support systems. Prenatal depression was quite prevalent among pregnant women with a prevalence rate of 15.7%. Social support proved to be the strongest risk factor for prenatal depression especially because this is the period when the pregnant woman is likely to be more dependent. Recommendations are made for workshops to educate pregnant women not only about prenatal depression but also on how to address social and economic needs. This will reduce the knowledge gap that exists among pregnant women concerning their symptoms and will improve the help-seeking behavior among pregnant women when they are faced with problems due to prenatal depression.