The prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among arab women in a primary health care setting

Aisha Hamdan, Sana Hawamdeh, Aamal Hussein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Depression is one of most common mental illnesses in the world, with a high prevalence in primary health care settings. Some research has been conducted in the Arab region, but this research has been limited. This study investigated the prevalence of depression in a primary health care setting in the United Arab Emirates as well as possible socio-demographic and stressful life event correlates of depression. Methods: Arabic versions of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a Stressful Life Events Inventory, and socio-demographic form were used for the study. Data were collected from 224 Arab women, aged 18 and above, in the primary health care centers of Sharjah, using a convenience sampling method. Results: Approximately 33% of women were found to be either moderately (14.7%) or severely (18%) depressed. The following socio-demographic variables were found to be correlated with scores on the BDI (p < .05): marital status (being single, widowed or divorced), working status (working full- or part-time), and family income (lower family income). The number of stressful life events that a woman had experienced in the past year was also correlated with depression. Conclusions: Depressive symptoms are common in women attending primary health care centers in the Emirate of Sharjah. Stressful life events, in particular, are related to the level of depressive symptoms experienced by these women. It will be important to consider the social, psychological, and economic variables that impact emotional health in the region. This research is considered to be an initial step in developing prevention and intervention programs to address the mental health needs of Arab women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-467
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008

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Primary Health Care
Depression
Demography
Equipment and Supplies
Research
United Arab Emirates
Widowhood
Divorce
Marital Status
Mental Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Economics
Psychology
Health

Keywords

  • Arab culture
  • Major depression
  • Primary health care
  • Socio-demographic variables
  • Stressful life events

Cite this

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abstract = "Background: Depression is one of most common mental illnesses in the world, with a high prevalence in primary health care settings. Some research has been conducted in the Arab region, but this research has been limited. This study investigated the prevalence of depression in a primary health care setting in the United Arab Emirates as well as possible socio-demographic and stressful life event correlates of depression. Methods: Arabic versions of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a Stressful Life Events Inventory, and socio-demographic form were used for the study. Data were collected from 224 Arab women, aged 18 and above, in the primary health care centers of Sharjah, using a convenience sampling method. Results: Approximately 33{\%} of women were found to be either moderately (14.7{\%}) or severely (18{\%}) depressed. The following socio-demographic variables were found to be correlated with scores on the BDI (p < .05): marital status (being single, widowed or divorced), working status (working full- or part-time), and family income (lower family income). The number of stressful life events that a woman had experienced in the past year was also correlated with depression. Conclusions: Depressive symptoms are common in women attending primary health care centers in the Emirate of Sharjah. Stressful life events, in particular, are related to the level of depressive symptoms experienced by these women. It will be important to consider the social, psychological, and economic variables that impact emotional health in the region. This research is considered to be an initial step in developing prevention and intervention programs to address the mental health needs of Arab women.",
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The prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among arab women in a primary health care setting. / Hamdan, Aisha; Hawamdeh, Sana; Hussein, Aamal.

In: International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, Vol. 38, No. 4, 01.12.2008, p. 453-467.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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