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Original Papers

Lack of effective communication by the staff as a risk factor for postpartum blues in an obstetric unit of a Base Hospital in Sri Lanka

Author:

A. S. Malalagama

Base Hospital Diyathalawa, LK
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Abstract

Introduction

Postpartum blues (PB) occur in 30-75% of postpartum mothers within the first 10 days of delivery. It has been suggested that changes in hormone levels soon after delivery and psychosocial stressors may contribute to this condition. Lack of support and reassurance from clinical staff may be another such factor. The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between lack of effective communication by staff and the occurrence of PB.

 

Methods

An interviewer administered questionnaire examining demographics, clinical details and current symptoms of PB was administered among 100 postpartum women within 2 weeks of delivery, who were consecutively referred to the Psychiatry Unit of Base Hospital, Mahiyangana. The presence of PB were diagnosed by a specialist in psychiatry. Communication by staff was assessed via an interviewer rated Likert scale, derived from the Health Care Communication Questionnaire and the Communication Assessment Tool.

 

Results

PB was present in 55% participants at the time of interview. Lack of communication by staff was identified as a risk factor among 83.63% (n=46). While the effectiveness of communication average score had significant negative association (r-0.75, p<0.0001) with PB, primiparity had a significant positive correlation (r+0.8, p<0.0001). No association was found between PB and mode of delivery.

 

Conclusions

There appears to be a significant association between failure to communicate with and reassure postpartum women by staff in Obstetric Units and the occurrence of PB. Increased awareness and the training staff on communication may help reduce this occurrence. Other risk factors and confounders need to be addressed.

How to Cite: Malalagama, A.S., (2018). Lack of effective communication by the staff as a risk factor for postpartum blues in an obstetric unit of a Base Hospital in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry. 9(1), pp.15–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v9i1.8176
Published on 28 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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