Depression among women in rural Ethiopia as related to socioeconomic factors: a community-based study on women in reproductive age groups
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 36, no 6, 589-597 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: Several previous studies have reported on socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors associated with depression among women, but knowledge in this area remains scarce regarding women living in extreme poverty in developing countries.
OBJECTIVE: The study was aimed at examining the 12-month prevalence of depressive episodes as related to socioeconomic and sociocultural conditions of women in the reproductive age group in rural Ethiopia.
METHODS: A community-based cross-sectional study was undertaken among 3016 randomly selected women in the age group 15-49 years. Cases of depression were identified using the Amharic version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. A standardized World Health Organization questionnaire was used to measure the socioeconomic status of the women and their spouses. Data were analysed among all women and then separately among currently married women.
RESULTS: The 12-month prevalence of depression among all women was 4.4%. After adjusting for common sociodemographic characteristics, only marital status showed a significant association with depressive episode in terms of higher odds ratios (ORs) for divorced/separated women and widowed women than for not-married women (4.05 and 4.24, respectively). Among currently married women, after adjusting for common sociodemographic characteristics, living in rural villages (OR=3.78), a frequent khat-chewing habit (OR=1.61), having a seasonal job (OR=2.94) and being relatively better off in terms of poverty (OR=0.48) were independently associated with depression.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of depression among women was in the lower range as compared to studies from high-income countries, but very poor economic conditions were associated with a higher prevalence of depression in this overall very poor setting. This further supports the notion that the relative level of poverty rather than the absolute level of poverty contributes to depression among women. Whether the association with khat chewing and depression is a causative effect or can be explained by self-medication remains unclear.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 36, no 6, 589-597 p.
Research subject Psychiatry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21760DOI: 10.1177/1403494808086976PubMedID: 18775815OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-21760DiVA: diva2:211862