Domestic Violence as a Risk Factor for Postpartum Depression Among Ethiopian Women: Facility Based Study

Addishiwet Fantahun Adamu1, Yohannes Mehretie Adinew2, *
1 College of Health sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2 College of Health sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Sodo, Ethiopia

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© 2018 Adamu et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the College of Health sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Sodo, Ethiopia; Tel: +251 91-202-1605; E-mail:



Mental illness in women leads to an increased maternal morbidity and mortality. Postpartum depression accommodates various groups of depressive disorders and syndromes that occur within the first immediate year after delivery. Thus, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of postpartum depression symptoms and correlates among mothers attending public health centers of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 618 women in their postpartum period. Simple random sampling technique was used to select three out of ten sub cities in Addis Ababa. Then, nine health centers were selected by lottery method from the three sub-cities. The number of women included from each health center was determined by proportional allocation. Study participants were enrolled by systematic random sampling. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was used at a cutoff point >13 to detect depression. Descriptive statistics were done. The bivariate and multivariate analysis was also carried out to identify predictors of postpartum depression.


Significant proportion 144 (23.3%) of the women had the symptom of postpartum depression. Respondents who were the victims of domestic violence [AOR 3.1; 95% CI: 1.6-5.9], reported to have diagnosed with postpartum depression [AOR 4.41; 95% CI: 2.4-8.3], and dissatisfied with their marriage [AOR 2.9; 95% CI: 1.5-5.6] had higher odds of reporting postpartum depression symptoms.


Postpartum depression is a common mental health problem during the postnatal period. Domestic violence was positively and significantly associated with the symptom of postpartum depression. Maternity services shall consider a sector that provides health care for women who encounter violence and develop symptoms of postpartum depression.

Keywords: Depression, Postpartum depression, Maternal mental health and Ethiopia, Domestic, Domestic violence, Victims.