KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF DEPRESSION AMONG PERINATAL WOMEN ATTENDING MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH CLINICS: A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY
Introduction: Perinatal depression is a significant mental and public health problem which occurs during pregnancy until the first year of postnatal period. It is worth to study on knowledge and awareness of perinatal depression is an essential element in managing the problem. This study aimed to assess knowledge and awareness of perinatal depression among perinatal women. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted at four selected maternal and child health clinics in Kuantan, Pahang. A validated self-administered questionnaire on knowledge and awareness of perinatal depression was distributed to 265 perinatal women. Data were analysed by using an independent sample t-test, Pearson correlation and simple linear regression. Results: The prevalence of perinatal depression was 20.4% (10.6% of antenatal and 9.6% of postnatal). Knowledge of perinatal depression among perinatal women had no significant association with antenatal and postnatal depressive symptoms (p=0.33 and p=0.24), respectively. It was found that there was no association between awareness of perinatal depression and depressive symptoms among the women. However, there was a positive linear relation between knowledge and awareness of perinatal depression (r=0.141, p=0.021). Conclusion: Knowledge and awareness of perinatal depression were similar among antenatal and postnatal women who were at risk and not at risk of the depression. However, it is important for health care practitioners to screen for perinatal depression and enhance knowledge and awareness of perinatal depression among women to reduce the number of perinatal depression.