Prevalence of maternal postpartum depression, health-seeking behavior and out of pocket payment for physical illness and cost coping mechanism of the poor families in bangladesh: A rural community-based study

Sheikh Jamal Hossain, Bharati Rani Roy, Aniqa Tasnim Hossain, Fardina Mehrin, SM Mulk Uddin Tipu, Fahmida Tofail, Shams El Arifeen, Thach Tran, Jane Fisher, Jena Hamadani

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The burden of depression is high globally. Maternal depression affects the mother, the child, and other family members. We aimed to measure the prevalence of maternal postpartum depressive (PPD) symptoms having a child aged 6–16 months, health-seeking behavior for general illness of all family members, out of pocket (OOP) payments for health care and cost coping mechanisms. We conducted a cross sectional study with 591 poor families in rural Bangladesh. The survey was conducted between August and October, 2017. Information was collected on maternal depressive symptoms using the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20), health-seeking behavior, and related costs using a structured, pretested questionnaire. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 51.7%. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that PPD symptoms were independently associated with maternal age (p = 0.044), family food insecurity (p < 0.001) and violence against women (p < 0.001). Most (60%) ill persons sought health care from informal health providers. Out of pocket (OOP) expenditure was significantly higher (p = 0.03) in the families of depressed mothers, who had to take loan or sell their valuables to cope with expenditures (p < 0.001). Our results suggest that postpartum depressive symptoms are prevalent in the poor rural mothers. Community-based interventions including prevention of violence and income generation activities for these economically disadvantaged mothers should be designed to address risk factors. Health financing options should also be explored for the mothers with depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4727
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Bangladesh
  • Health-seeking behavior
  • Maternal depression
  • Out of pocket payment
  • Prevalence
  • Rural settings

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