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Depression and Domestic Violence Experiences Among Asian Women: A Systematic Review

Authors Koirala P, Chuemchit M

Received 24 October 2019

Accepted for publication 3 January 2020

Published 16 January 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 21—33


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Pallavi Koirala, Montakarn Chuemchit

College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Correspondence: Montakarn Chuemchit Tel +66 2218-8198

Purpose: To determine the association of postpartum depression with domestic violence experiences among women in Asia.
Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is an important cause of maternal morbidity as well as mortality. There is increasing evidence that domestic violence (DV) increases the risk of PPD.
Methods: We performed literature searches using the databases PUBMED, SCOPUS, Web of Science and Google Scholar, for studies published between January 2010 and May 2019. The keywords “postpartum”, “postnatal”, “depression”, and “violence” were used. Observational studies conducted within Asia, and written in the English language, were included.
Results: In the 38 studies included in this review (with 37,087 participants), the prevalence of PPD ranged between 8.2% to 70% and that of DV between 6.1% to 67.4%. There were 1.6 to 7.1 higher odds of PPD among sufferers of DV. Intimate partner violence (IPV) was the most relevant factor that women experiencing psychological abuse (which was the most prevalent form of IPV) were more at risk for, and violence/intimidation by other family members was also associated with PPD. Domestic violence increased the risk of suicidal ideation in PPD.
Discussion: The findings of the review unequivocally shows the association between domestic violence and PPD. Maternal mental health is a neglected area of healthcare in many parts of Asia. Likewise, domestic violence is a readily recognized, but inadequately addressed social issue. We recommend that healthcare workers be trained to recognize and support the women who are vulnerable to violence and depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Policies need to be developed at national and global levels to tackle these issues with utmost urgency.

Keywords: postpartum depression, domestic violence, Asia

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