Social resources and Arab women's perinatal mental health: A systematic review
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Background: Women's mental health in the perinatal period is understudied worldwide and in Arab countries especially. Aim: This systematic review explores evidence of the association between women's social resources for empowerment in the Arab World and their mental health in the prenatal and postnatal (?1 year postpartum) periods. Methods: Guided by Kabeer's framework of empowerment, the authors applied a search string in PubMed and Web of Science databases to identify studies in countries of the Arab League (hereafter the Arab World) that address mental health and social resources for women's empowerment in the perinatal period. Findings: Of 1865 electronically retrieved articles, 23 met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the majority of studies found a positive association between social resources for empowerment and perinatal mental health. Seven studies explored the relationship between familial or general social support and prenatal mental health in Arab women, and found a significant positive association. Sixteen of the 18 studies of women in the postnatal period found that enabling familial, extra-familial, and/or general social support was positively associated with mental health. Conclusion: This review demonstrates an association between social resources and perinatal mental health, but there is a dearth of research in this area. We call for additional research on Arab women in the perinatal period using context-specific but standardized tools to assess social resources and mental health. Evidence on positive mental health, resilience, and the influence of social resources can guide the improvement of prenatal and postpartum care services.
- Public Health [128 items ]