Human and economic resources for empowerment and pregnancy-related mental health in the Arab Middle East: a systematic review
Abdul Rahim H.F.
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This systematic review synthesizes research on the influence of human and economic resources for women's empowerment on their pre- and postnatal mental health, understudied in the Arab world. We include articles using quantitative methods from PubMed and Web of Science. Two researchers reviewed databases and selected articles, double reviewing 5% of articles designated for inclusion. Twenty-four articles met inclusion criteria. All 24 articles measured depression as an outcome, and three included additional mental health outcomes. Nine of 17 studies found an inverse association between education and depression; two of 12 studies found contradictory associations between employment and depression, and four of six studies found a positive association between financial stress and depression. These results suggest that there is a negative association between education and depression and a positive association between financial stress and depression among women in the Arab world. Firm conclusions warrant caution due to limited studies meeting inclusion criteria and large heterogeneity in mental health scales used, assessment measures, and definitions of human and economic resources for women's empowerment. It is likely that education reduces depression among postpartum women and that financial stress increases their depression. These findings can be used to aid in the design of interventions to improve mother and child outcomes. However, more research in the Arab world is needed on the relationship between human and economic resources for women's empowerment and perinatal mental health, and more consistency is needed in how resources and mental health are measured.
- Public Health [143 items ]