The Effects of Antenatal Depression and Women's Perception of Having Poor Health on Maternal Health Service Utilization in Northern Ghana.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To examine the effects of antenatal depression and women's perceived health during the antenatal period on maternal health service utilization in rural northern Ghana; including how the effect of antenatal depression on service use might be modified by women's perceived health.


Probable antenatal depression was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Linear regression was used for the outcome of number of antenatal care (ANC) visits, and logistic regression was used for the outcomes of facility delivery, postnatal care (PNC) within 7 days and completion of continuum of care. Continuum of care was defined as having had four or more ANC visits, delivered at a health facility and had PNC visit within 7 days.


Antenatal depression had very small or no association with maternal health service utilization. Women with self-perceived fair or poor health were significantly less likely to use PNC within 7 days and less likely to complete the continuum of care. As for effect modification, we found that for women with probable moderate or severe antenatal depression (a score of 10 or greater), those with perceived fair or poor health used fewer ANC visits and were less likely to use PNC within 7 days than those with perceived excellent, very good or good health.


Women experiencing moderate or severe antenatal depression and/or who self-perceive as having poor health should be identified and targeted for additional support to access and utilize maternal health services.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kim, ET; Ali, M; Adam, H; Abubakr-Bibilazu, S; Gallis, JA; Lillie, M; Hembling, J; McEwan, E; Baumgartner, JN

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1697 - 1706

PubMed ID

  • 34405361

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6628

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1092-7875

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10995-021-03216-1


  • eng