Are we overlooking the obvious? Addressing social determinants of health that contribute to perinatal depression

Meital Simhi, Aviva Yoselis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Mental health disorders among women during the perinatal period are common and cause significant morbidity, yet precise reasons why some women develop depression during this period, and others do not, are, as yet, unknown. Pregnancy may burden populations of women differently, and sociological variables, such as finances, social position, interpersonal resources; and extreme events, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic for example, may be as significant as biological determinants. However, current treatment for depression remains focused on the individual woman as the main agent for change. Incorporating a systems-wide approach to diagnosing and treating perinatal depression by addressing structural and systemic determinants may be a more effective way to treat this illness. In this paper, we explore social determinants of health and their correlation with clinical depression in the antenatal period. We also investigate broader, society-wide interventions that may reduce this significant morbidity among women of reproductive age, in both developed and developing nations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • depression
  • mental health
  • perinatal
  • pregnancy
  • social determinants of health
  • socio-political context
  • socioeconomic
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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