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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 105-111

Impact of maternal mental health on maternal-child interaction in attendees in a community health clinic in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos; Department of Community Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Yewande O Oshodi
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2468-6859.185246

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Background: Maternal mental health, in particular depression, has been found to negatively impact mother-child interaction, attachment, stimulation, growth, and many important aspects of development in the young child. These early deficits if sustained and unattended may have negative immediate and long-term consequences on the outcomes in the child. The study aimed to assess psychological distress and postpartum depression in mothers, and their relationship to the mother-child interaction. Methodology: This is a descriptive clinic-based study. Eligible and consenting mothers are attending the child immunization clinic in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria participated. Consecutive mothers completed the interview questionnaires independently while those who were not literate had the questionnaires administered by trained interviewers. Instruments used were a sociodemographic proforma, the General Health Questionnaire-12, Mother and Infant Attachment Scale (MIAS), and the Zung Depression Scale. Results: In total, ninety-eight women were enrolled, 66.3% were aged between 26 and 35 years, and mean age of 30.9 years (±5.1 standard deviation). Most were aged between 26 and 35 years (66.3%). Over 90% had at secondary school education or more. Over a 10 th (13.3%) was unemployed and 96% married. The children were aged between 6 weeks and 1 year, males (63.1%), and females (46.9%), and the majority were born by spontaneous vaginal delivery (82.7%). A 10 th (10.2%) of the women had probable psychiatric morbidity, 14.3% had scores suggestive of postpartum depression, and 18 (16.3%) scored below average attachment in interaction with their children on the MIAS. There was an association found between reduced maternal-child attachment interaction and maternal depression (P ≤ 0.05). Conclusions: Emotional disorders, such as depression, in mothers can be associated reduced maternal-child interaction. It is important that integrated mental health care services be offered to women.

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