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Costs of common perinatal mental health problems in South Africa

Bauer, Annette ORCID: 0000-0001-5156-1631, Garman, Emily, Besada, Donela, Field, Sally, Knapp, Martin ORCID: 0000-0003-1427-0215 and Honikman, Simone (2022) Costs of common perinatal mental health problems in South Africa. Global Mental Health, 9. 429 - 438. ISSN 2054-4251

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Identification Number: 10.1017/gmh.2022.48


BackgroundPerinatal mental health problems, defined as mental health problems occurring from the start of pregnancy to one year after birth, substantially affect women's and children's quality of life in low- and middle-income countries. In South Africa, despite high prevalence and documented negative impacts, most women do not receive any care.MethodsA modelling study examined the costs of perinatal mental health problems, namely depression and anxiety, for a hypothetical cohort of women and their children in South Africa over part of their life course (10 years for women, 40 years for children). In sensitivity analysis, additional impacts of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and completed suicide were included. Data sources were published findings from cohort studies, as well as epidemiological and economic data from South Africa. Data from international studies were considered where no data from South Africa were available.ResultsLifetime costs of perinatal depression and anxiety in South Africa amount to USD 2.8 billion per annual cohort of births. If the impacts of PTSD and suicide are included, costs increase to USD 2.9 billion. This includes costs linked to losses in quality of life (USD 1.8 billion), losses in income (USD 1.1 billion) and public sector costs (USD 3.5 million).ConclusionsWhilst important progress has been made in South Africa with regards to mental health policies and interventions that include assessment and management of perinatal mental health problems, substantial underinvestment prevents progress. Findings from this study strengthen the economic case for investing in perinatal mental health care.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2022 10:45
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 03:49

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