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Social relationships and postpartum depression in South Asia: a systematic review

Jones, Eleri and Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X (2013) Social relationships and postpartum depression in South Asia: a systematic review. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 59 (7). pp. 690-700. ISSN 0020-7640

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0020764012453675


Background: Evidence suggests a much higher prevalence of postpartum depression in South Asia than in ‘western’ contexts. Aim: To conduct a rapid systematic review of evidence on the association between social relationships and postpartum depression in South Asia. Methods: Five databases were searched to identify relevant studies. Studies meeting the selection and quality criteria were analysed and integrated in a narrative review. Results: Nine mostly quantitative studies were included in the review. Low support and poor relationships with the husband and parents-in-law were associated with postpartum depression, although associations were weakened in multivariate analyses. The different dimensions of support have not yet been systematically investigated and the likely complex interrelationships between social relationship risk factors are not yet well understood. Conclusions: Findings mirror those from ‘western’ contexts, showing the key role of social relationships in the aetiology of postpartum depression. Yet, they also reinforce the hypothesis that the social and cultural context influences the association. The importance of relationships with the extended family, as well as the husband, in South Asia is highlighted. Further research is recommended to develop an understanding of these relationships to better inform interventions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D13 - Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2012 13:10
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:28
Projects: ES/H03191X/1, ES/H001832/1
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-sponsored seminar

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