Published online Jun 22, 2017. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v7.i2.98
Peer-review started: December 5, 2016
First decision: April 17, 2017
Revised: May 16, 2017
Accepted: May 30, 2017
Article in press: May 31, 2017
Published online: June 22, 2017
To understand the experience of maternal depression, the factors implicated in accessing health, and the acceptability of the psychosocial intervention.
The participants were recruited from the paediatrics outpatient department of Civil Hospital Karachi, Pakistan. The study started in December 2009 and completed in December 2010. Women with maternal depression, aged 18-44 years with children aged 0-30 mo who had received nutritional supplements, and participated in the intervention programme [called Learning through Play (LTP) plus] were included in the study. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 8 participants before the intervention and 7 participants after the intervention. A semi structured topic guide was used to conduct the interviews.
Framework analysis procedures were used to analyse the qualitative data. Four themes emerged: (1) the women’s contextual environment: Interpersonal conflicts, lack of social support and financial issues being the major barriers in assessing healthcare; (2) women’s isolation and powerlessness within the environment: Sense of loneliness was identified as a restricting factor to access healthcare; (3) the impact of the intervention (LTP-Plus): Women felt “listened to” and seemed empowered; and (4) empowered transformed women within the same contextual environment: The facilitator provided a “gardening role” in nurturing the women resulting in a positive transformation within the same environment. The women’s homes seemed to be more happy homes and there was a positive change in their behaviour towards their children.
Findings informed the further development and testing of culturally-appropriate psychosocial intervention (LTP+) for addressing maternal depression.
Core tip: To our knowledge this is the first qualitative study from Pakistan exploring the experiences of depressed mothers participating in a group psychosocial intervention trial. This was part of a randomized control trial testing the acceptability and feasibility of a parenting intervention Learning through Play (LTP)-Plus among depressed women in a low-income setting. The LTP+ intervention focused on two key objectives. First was to stimulate early child development through a pictorial calendar among children from birth to 3 years. Second was to change negative thoughts patterns of mothers through culturally adapted cognitive behavioural therapy intervention. The intervention was acceptable and the qualitative data informed the further development of the intervention.