Common mental disorders among women, social circumstances and toddler growth in rural Vietnam: a population-based prospective study

Jane Rosamond Woodward Fisher, Tuan Tran, Trang Thu Nguyen, Hau Thi Minh Nguyen, Thach Duc Tran

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BACKGROUND: Common mental disorders (CMD) and adverse social circumstances are widespread among mothers of infants and toddlers in resource-constrained settings. These can undermine early childhood development through compromised caregiving and insufficient access to essential resources. The aim was to examine the effect of maternal CMD and social adversity in the post-partum year on toddler s length-for-age index in a rural low-income setting. METHODS: A population-based prospective cohort study of women in Ha Nam province, Vietnam who completed baseline assessments in either late pregnancy or 4-6 weeks post partum and were followed up, with their toddlers, 15 months later. CMD were assessed at both points by psychiatrist-administered Structured Clinical Interviews for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Diagnoses. Anthropometric indices were calculated from toddler s age, sex, weight and length using World Health Organization Child Growth Standards. Social adversities were assessed by study-specific questions and locally validated psychometric instruments. The hypothesized model of factors governing toddler s length-for-age Z score (LAZ) was tested using path analysis. RESULTS: In total, 211/234 (90.1 ) mother-toddler pairs provided complete data. Baseline prevalence of CMD among women was 33.6 and follow-up was 18.5 . The mean LAZ among toddlers was -1.03 and stunting prevalence (LAZ <-2) was 15.6 . Maternal CMD at baseline were indirectly related to toddler LAZ via maternal CMD at follow-up (regression coefficient = -0.05, 95 CI -0.11 to -0.01). Maternal CMD at follow-up was associated significantly with toddler LAZ (regression coefficient = -0.15, 95 CI -0.28 to -0.05). Poorer quality of marital relationship, mothers experiences of childhood abuse and
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843 - 852
Number of pages10
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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