Quality of life and the related factors in early postnatal women in Malawi

Madalitso Khwepeya, Karen Monsen, Shu Yu Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To explore the quality of life (QOL) and related factors in early postnatal women. Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional study. Setting: Liwonde, Malawi. Participants: Women who underwent a normal vaginal birth (N = 173) were included from August to September 2018. Measurements: The QOL of participants was assessed using a World Health Organization QOL instrument. Demographic, obstetric, and health variables were collected using a structured questionnaire. Childbirth fear and depression were respectively assessed using the Wijma Delivery Experience Questionnaire and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. A multiple linear regression was used to examine factors associated with the QOL. Results: The mean age of participants was 29 (standard deviation 6.7) years. The overall QOL and health were satisfactory. The mean score of the QOL was highest in the psychological health and social relationships domains, followed by the environmental and physical health domains. A higher educational level was negatively related to the physical health of QOL (p ≤ 0.01), with physician care positively related (p = 0.01). The employment status was positively related to psychological health and the environmental QOL (p ≤ 0.01). Furthermore, a higher income, and physician care were positively related to the environmental QOL (p ≤ 0.05). High levels of childbirth fear and depressive symptoms were negatively related to all domains of the QOL (p ≤ 0.05), except for the social relationships domain. Conclusion and implications for practice: The physical health QOL was lower in postnatal mothers in Malawi. Measures to improve physical health aspects and address women's fears and depressive symptoms during postpartum care are warranted. The findings should alert the health providers of the importance of assessing and improving women's physical health and psychological well-being during postpartum care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102700
JournalMidwifery
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Childbirth fear
  • Demographics
  • Depression
  • Obstetrics
  • Postpartum period
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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