Nevin Manimala Statistics

Seeking and receiving help for mental health services among pregnant women in Ghana

PLoS One. 2023 Mar 3;18(3):e0280496. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280496. eCollection 2023.


OBJECTIVE: The heightened vulnerability of women to mental health issues during the period of pregnancy implies that seeking and receiving support for mental health services is a crucial factor in improving the emotional and mental well-being of pregnant women. The current study investigates the prevalence and correlates of seeking and receiving help for mental health services initiated by pregnant women and health professionals during pregnancy.

DESIGN: Using a cross-sectional design and self-report questionnaires, data were collected from 702 pregnant women in the first, second and third trimesters from four health facilities in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

RESULTS: It was observed that 18.9% of pregnant women self-initiated help-seeking for mental health services whereas 64.8% reported that health professionals asked about their mental well-being, of which 67.7% were offered mental health support by health professionals. Diagnosis of medical conditions in pregnancy (i.e., hypertension and diabetes), partner abuse, low social support, sleep difficulty and suicidal ideation significantly predicted the initiation of help-seeking for mental health services by pregnant women. Fear of vaginal delivery and COVID-19 concerns predicted the provision of mental health support to pregnant women by health professionals.

CONCLUSION: The low prevalence of individual-initiated help-seeking implies that health professionals have a high responsibility of supporting pregnant women achieve their mental health needs.

PMID:36867597 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0280496

By Nevin Manimala

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