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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 391-397

Suicidality among Nigerian postpartum women: Prevalence and correlates

1 Department of Mental Health, State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Mental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T Opakunle
State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/TJOG.TJOG_43_19

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Background: Postpartum suicidality is a major public health concern that has been identified as one of the major contributors to the global mortality burden. It poses a profound risk to women in the postpartum and the community in general. Aim: To determine the prevalence and correlates of suicidality among Nigerian postpartum women. Subjects and Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study involving 347 Nigerian women recruited during the postpartum period. They completed a study-specific sociodemographic and pregnancy-related questionnaire, the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised, and the Brief version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire. Results: The prevalence of lifetime suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts was 10.4%, 2.9%, and 1.7% respectively. In addition, 5.2% of the respondents reported suicidal ideation in the past year, while 4.0% of the respondents indicated the likelihood of suicide attempts in the future. Depression, lower quality of life, preterm delivery, complications during pregnancy, poor support from the husband and the in-laws, stressful infant care, and baby's hospitalization were significantly associated with suicidality. Conclusion: Suicidality is relatively common among Nigerian postpartum women. Therefore, postpartum women should be routinely screened for suicidal behaviors.

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