Online Program

Cultural understanding of postpartum depression among Caribbean immigrant women

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Gloria M. Davy, PhD, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Berkeley College, Woodbridge, NJ
While there is some understanding of postpartum depression in the general female population, it is not yet known how postpartum depression is manifested among women of different racial and cultural backgrounds. This qualitative study investigated cultural understanding and interpretation of postpartum depression among immigrant Caribbean women and their healthcare providers. The ecological systems theory of human development was used as framework to explore cultural factors that influence how this population experiences and responds to postpartum depression. The key research questions, directed at eliciting information from participants on how postpartum depression was understood and experienced among Caribbean immigrant women, and the availability of services in their communities. Two categories of interview data were collected: participants with postpartum depression experience (n = 20) and health service providers to this community (n = 5). Results were analyzed using thematic analysis software. Results showed that participants understood postpartum depression differently, based on their education and place of origin in the Caribbean. The women attributed postpartum depression to a variety of causes that included culture shock, lack of social and financial supports, mental health issues, a lack of emotional readiness for a baby, and witchcraft. Service providers identified a lack of access to quality healthcare, language barriers, financial issues, and social stigma as contributing factors to postpartum depression in this population. This study may generate positive social change by helping public health service providers to understand the need for cultural understanding and approach to service delivery and support systems in populations with different cultural orientations.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the cultural understanding and interpretation of postpartum depression among immigrant Caribbean women and their healthcare providers.

Keyword(s): Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Adult and Child Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm an Adjunct Professor at Essex County College, Newark, New Jersey within the Department of Social Sciences. My specialization is in the areas of Public Health, Applied and Social Psychology. As a public health doctoral student, my dissertation focused on, "Cultural understanding of postpartum depression among Caribbean immigrant women." I'm the principal investigator for this research. I defended my dissertation, which was passed by the Walden University URR and Research Departments on January 18, 2013.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.