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The experience of postnatal depression in South Asian mothers living in Great Britain: a qualitative study

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Background: As the experience of what is termed as ‘postnatal depression’ (PND) in South Asian mothers living in Great Britain has received comparatively little attention, this study used a grounded theory approach to examine their understanding of PND. Methods: Ten South Asian mothers were interviewed from within the Greater Manchester area in England. They scored above 12 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and were interviewed 8–12 weeks after giving birth. Data were analysed using techniques associated with constant comparison and a grounded theory approach. Results and findings: The analyses showed that their experiences of PND were extremely dynamic and complex. Three core categories were identified and termed “internalising misery”, “Others will judge me and I feel on my own” and “I talk to my health professional and they don’t understand”. Conclusions: Potential links between these categories were considered and a tentative model for PND in South Asian mothers has been proposed. Some issues were specific to the experience of PND, but this sample also experienced “cultural clashes”, somatisation, isolation, poor input from services and barriers to and from services. The methodological limitations, clinical implications and areas for further research are considered.
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Keywords: Asian mothers; interviews; postnatal depression; qualitative methodology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Clinical Psychology,University of Manchester, Great Britain 2: Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, Great Britain 3: Primary Care Psychological Therapy Service, Bolton, Great Britain

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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