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Postnatal depression and its effects on child development: a review of evidence from low- and middle-income countries

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Introduction or backgroundIt is well established that postnatal depression (PND) is prevalent in high-income countries and is associated with negative personal, family and child developmental outcomes.Sources of dataHere, studies on the prevalence of maternal PND in low- and middle-income countries are reviewed and a geographical prevalence map is presented. The impact of PND upon child outcomes is also reviewed.Areas of agreementThe available evidence suggests that rates of PND are substantial, and in many regions, are higher than those reported for high-income countries. An association between PND and adverse child developmental outcomes was identified in many of the countries examined.Areas of controversySignificant heterogeneity in prevalence rates and impact on child outcomes across studies means that the true extent of the disease burden is still unclear.Areas timely for developing researchNonetheless, there is a compelling case for the implementation of interventions to reduce the impact of PND on the quality of the mother-infant relationship and improve child outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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