Prevalence of antenatal depression in South Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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AbstractOBJECTIVE To estimate the prevalence of antenatal depression in South Asia and to examine variations by country and study characteristics to inform policy, practice and future research. METHODS We conducted a comprehensive search of 13 data bases including international data bases and databases covering scientific literature from South Asian countries in addition to Google Scholar and grey sources from 1·1·2007 to 31·5·2018. Studies reporting prevalence estimates of antenatal depression using a validated diagnostic/ screening tool were identified, screened, selected, and appraised. Primary outcome was proportion (%) of pregnant women identified as having antenatal depression. RESULTS Thirty-three studies involving 13,087 pregnant women were included in the meta-analysis. Twelve studies were rated as of high quality and 21 studies were of moderate quality. Overall pooled prevalence of antenatal depression was 24·57% (95% CI: 19·34, 30·69). Studies showed a high degree of heterogeneity (I2=97·55%) and evidence of publication bias (p=0·722). Prevalence rates for India (17·74%, 95% CI: 11·19, 26·96) and Sri Lanka (15·87%, 95% CI: 14·04, 17·88) were lower compared to the overall prevalence whereas prevalence rates for Pakistan (32·2%, 95% CI: 23·11, 42·87) and Nepal (50%, 95% CI: 35·64,64·36) were higher. CONCLUSIONS While robust prevalence studies are sparse in most South Asian countries, available data suggests one in four pregnant women is likely to experience antenatal depression in the region. Findings highlight the need for recognition of the issue in health policy and practice and for resource allocation for capacity building at regional and national levels for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
CitationMahendran R, Puthussery S, Amalan M (2019) 'Prevalence of antenatal depression in South Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 73 (8), pp.768-777.
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group
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