Maternal common mental disorder and infant growth – a cross-sectional study from Malawi
Article first published online: 14 JUL 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Maternal & Child Nutrition
Volume 4, Issue 3, pages 209–219, July 2008
How to Cite
Stewart, R. C., Umar, E., Kauye, F., Bunn, J., Vokhiwa, M., Fitzgerald, M., Tomenson, B., Rahman, A. and Creed, F. (2008), Maternal common mental disorder and infant growth – a cross-sectional study from Malawi. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 4: 209–219. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2008.00147.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 14 JUL 2008
- maternal mental health;
- infant growth;
- low income countries;
The objective of the study was to investigate the association between maternal common mental disorder (CMD) and infant growth in rural Malawi. A cross-sectional study was conducted at a district hospital child health clinic. Participants were consecutive infants due for measles vaccination, and their mothers.
Mean infant weight-for-age and length-for-age z-scores were compared between infants of mothers with and without CMD as measured using the self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ).
Of 519 eligible infants/mothers, 501 were included in the analysis. Median infant age was 9.9 months. 29.9% of mothers scored 8 or above on the SRQ indicating CMD. Mean length-for-age z-score for infants of mothers with CMD (−1.50 SD 1.24) was significantly lower than for infants of mothers without CMD (−1.11 SD 1.12) Student's t-test: P = 0.001. This association was confirmed in multivariate analysis. Mean weight-for-age z-score for infants of mothers with CMD (−1.77 SD 1.16) was lower than for infants of mothers without CMD (−1.59 SD 1.09) but this difference was not significant on univariate (Student's t-test: P = 0.097) or multivariate analysis.
The study demonstrates an association between maternal CMD and infant growth impairment in rural sub-Saharan Africa.