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Postnatal depressive symptoms amongst women in Central Vietnam: a cross-sectional study investigating prevalence and associations with social, cultural and infant factors


Murray, L and Dunne, MP and Van Vo, T and Anh, PNT and Khawaja, NG and Cao, TN, Postnatal depressive symptoms amongst women in Central Vietnam: a cross-sectional study investigating prevalence and associations with social, cultural and infant factors, Bmc Pregnancy, Childbirth and Neonatal Care, 15 Article 234. ISSN 1471-2393 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Murray et al. Licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

DOI: doi:10.1186/s12884-015-0662-5


This study investigated the prevalence and socio-cultural correlates of postnatal mood disturbance amongst women 18-45 years old in Central Vietnam. Son preference and traditional confinement practices were explored as well as factors such as poverty, parity, family and intimate partner relationships and infant health.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in twelve randomly selected Commune Health Centres from urban and rural districts of Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam. Mother-infant dyads one to six months postpartum were invited to participate. Questionnaires from 431 mothers (urban n = 216; rural n = 215) assessed demographic and family characteristics, traditional confinement practices, son preference, infant health and social capital. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and WHO5 Wellbeing Index indicated depressive symptoms and emotional wellbeing. Data were analysed using general linear models.

Results: Using an EPDS cut-off of 12/13, 18.1 % (n = 78, 95 % CI 14.6 - 22.1) of women had depressive symptoms (20.4 % urban; 15.8 % rural). Contrary to predictions, infant gender and traditional confinement were unrelated to depressive symptoms. Poverty, food insecurity, being frightened of family members, and intimate partner violence increased both depressive symptoms and lowered wellbeing. The first model accounted for 30.2 % of the variance in EPDS score and found being frightened of oneís husband, husbandís unemployment, breastfeeding difficulties, infant diarrhoea, and cognitive social capital were associated with higher EPDS scores. The second model had accounted for 22 % of the variance in WHO5 score. Living in Hue city, low education, poor maternal competence and a negative family response to the baby lowered maternal wellbeing.

Conclusions: Traditional confinement practices and son preference were not linked to depressive symptoms among mothers, but were correlates of family relationships and wellbeing. Poverty, food insecurity, violence, infant ill health, and discordant intimate and family relationships were linked with depressive symptoms in Central Vietnam.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:postnatal, depression, South-East-Asia, Vietnam, cross-sectional
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Murray, L (Dr Linda Murray)
ID Code:103274
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-10-01
Last Modified:2018-03-29
Downloads:356 View Download Statistics

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