Introduction: Lack of access to perinatal mental health (PMH) services is a significant public health problem in India. Barriers to accessing PMH services include the stigma, non-availability of services, poor knowledge, negative perception, attitude among perinatal women (PWs) and service providers. The present study attempted to examine the knowledge gap regarding perinatal depression (PD) among service providers [Nursing providers (NPs), Medical Practitioners (MPs)] and service utilizers (PWs). Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in two tertiary care teaching hospitals of India, one in a major metro and the other in a rural area. PWs, MPs and NPs were assessed for knowledge about PD using a semi-structured proforma and Perinatal Depression Monitor. Results: Among the 270 PWs, 8.51% were knowledgeable (PWA) and 91.49% were ignorant (PWB) about depression. PWB group were low educated (n = 140, 56.68%), and unemployed (n = 207, 83.80%) with lower family income [(≤₹10,356 per month), n = 170, 68.28%)]. There was knowledge discrepancy among NPs, MPs and PWA group in terms of a) PD is a normal part of pregnancy (agree- NPs = 71.52%, MPs = 10.00%, PWA-17.39%), b)biological causes of PD (agree- NPs = 45.23%, MPs = 70.00%, PWA = 26.03%) and c)antidepressant medications for PD (useful- NPs = 23.80%, MPs = 70.00%, PWA = 21.73%). Majority of the respondents agreed that all women should be screened for depression during pregnancy (NPs = 34.78%, MPs = 80.95%, PWA = 95.00%) and postpartum periods (NPs = 34.78%, MPs = 76.19%, PWA = 90.00%). Conclusions: Low PD literacy among the PWs, misconception about aetiology and management among the NPs could be major barrier for delivery and utilisation of PD services. Thus, there is an urgent need to improve PD literacy among PWs and NPs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health