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Role of the husband's knowledge and behaviour in postnatal depression: a case study of an immigrant Pakistani woman

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Objective: This study aims to highlight the subjective experience of an immigrant Pakistani woman during postnatal depression (PND), with a special emphasis on the husband's knowledge and behaviour towards PND.

Method: A face-to-face interview was conducted with a woman reporting symptoms of depression on the fourth day after delivery. She was evaluated using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Rating Scale (EPDRS). The evaluations were completed by a qualified psychiatrist. The demographic information, personal and family medical history and attitude towards the child were the principal issues recorded. In addition, five items were used to evaluate the husband's knowledge about PND. The EPDRS differences before and after counselling were evaluated using a student t-test.

Results: The patient was 32 years old and this was her first experience of delivery by Caesarean section. The evaluation for depression confirmed the diagnosis of PND and she scored 16 on the EPDRS. The husband's knowledge of PND was poor.

Conclusion: This case study suggests that lack of social support and understanding appear to play a vital role in the persistence of symptoms of PND among new mothers. Therefore, counselling of couples may be an effective additional tool in treating PND.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang and Island College of Technology, Penang, Malaysia 2: Department of Psychiatry, General Hospital Pulau, Penang, Malaysia 3: School of Psychology, Punjab University, Pakistan 4: School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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