Risk Factors of Postpartum Depression in Sri Lanka (Special Reference in Western Province)


Postpartum depression (PPD) is a global mental health concern affecting women during the postpartum period. This study aimed to explore factors contributing to PPD among postnatal women in Western province. PPD is recognized as a serious mental health issue, affecting 5-60.8% of women globally. It is associated with emotional disturbance during the postpartum transition, lasting up to 12 months. Spousal support is crucial in preventing PPD, but its level varies across cultures. Various factors contribute to PPD, including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy, depression history, and lack of social support. The study used a selfadministered questionnaire with demographic details and 12 depression-related factors. Data from 45 postnatal women were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression, treating EPDS values as the dependent variable. The model’s significance was established (p = 0.004), indicating its ability to predict outcomes. Goodness-of-fit tests suggested the model appropriately described the data. The pseudo-R-squares showed a 25.9% improvement over the null model. The classification table demonstrated an overall predictive power of 80.7%. Factors significantly influencing PPD included family type, family income level, type of pregnancy, depression history, preterm birth, newborn feeding stage, newborn diseases, spousal violence, and lack of social support. Odds ratios revealed the impact of these factors on PPD levels. The majority of postnatal women in the study had secondary education, were from nuclear families, and engaged in love marriages. Factors contributing to PPD included socioeconomic factors, pregnancy intention, and spousal violence. The study emphasizes the need for comprehensive prenatal education, counseling services, and postpartum support groups. It recommends awareness campaigns, accessible mental health services, and family-friendly workplace policies to mitigate PPD risk factors.

Key Words: EPDS, factors, Multinomial logistic regression, Postpartum depression