Miscarriages are a common pregnancy complication affecting about 10–15% of pregnancies. Miscarriages may be associated with a myriad of psychiatric morbidity at various timelines after the event. Depression has been shown to affect about 10–20% of all women following a miscarriage. However, no data exists in the local setting informing on the prevalence of post-miscarriage depression. We set out to determine the prevalence of positive depression screen among women who have experienced a miscarriage at the Aga Khan University hospital, Nairobi.
The study was cross-sectional in design. Patients who had a miscarriage were recruited at the post-miscarriage clinic review at the gynecology clinics at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi. The Edinburgh postpartum depression scale was used to screen for depression in the patients. Prevalence was calculated from the percentage of patients achieving the cut –off score of 13 over the total number of patients.
A total of 182 patients were recruited for the study. The prevalence of positive depression screen was 34.1% since 62 of the 182 patients had a positive depression screen. Moreover, of the patients who had a positive depression screen, 21(33.1%) had thoughts of self-harm.
A positive depression screen is present in 34.1% of women in our population two weeks after a miscarriage. Thoughts of self-harm are present in about a third of these women (33.1%) hence pointing out the importance of screening these women using the EPDS after a miscarriage.