Prevalence of Depression and Anxiety Disorders in Peri-Natal Sudanese Women and Associated Risks Factors


The purpose of this study was to estimate a point prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders among Sudanese peri-natal women attending ant-natal and postnatal clinics in the capital city of Sudan. Simultaneously, to examine the associated risks factors. Participants were 945 peri-natal women in two main women antenatal and post natal clinics in the Capital City of Sudan screened consecutively. They were divided into two groups. The first group was of, Four Hundreds eighty (480) women in their third trimester, and the second group consisted of Four Hundreds Sixty Five (465) women in the first 10 week of postnatal period. All participants were screened, using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS), and Personal information Questionnaire (PIQ) for collecting socio-demographic, personal, medical, social and family history data. Routine urine and blood results were recorded. Results: 59% of prenatal and 46% of postnatal women suffered from high levels of distress in the form of mixed anxiety and depressive symptoms. However, only 20.9% of peri-natal women suffered of moderate to severe depression. Over 90% of the depressed women were not formally diagnosed or received psychiatric help. Poor marital relationship, physical co-morbidity, positive family history and past psychiatric history of depression were the main significant risk factors associated with perinatal depression and anxiety. Conclusion: Contrary to the commonly held views that perinatal women are mainly plighted with depression as the main mental illness, this study confirms initial findings that, anxiety disorder is far more prevalent and more distressing to this vulnerable group. Moreover, psychiatric morbidities in both prenatal and postnatal periods attract high prevalence rates in low income countries. Maternal health policies in low income countries must incorporate routine screening for mental health status, basic support and interventions for mental illnesses in perinatal women. Depression and emotional disorders in perinatal women should be seen as important public health priority.

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Osman, A. , Hagar, T. , Osman, A. and Suliaman, H. (2015) Prevalence of Depression and Anxiety Disorders in Peri-Natal Sudanese Women and Associated Risks Factors. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 5, 342-349. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2015.54039.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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