Developing Biopsychosocial Research on Maternal Mental Health in Malawi: Community Perspectives and Concerns

Lucinda Manda-Taylor, Eric Umar, Robert C. Stewart, Macdonald Kufankomwe, Genesis Chorwe, Owen Mwale, Demoubly Kokota, Joyce Nyirenda, Kazione Kulisewa, Martyn Pickersgill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Interest in maternal mental health research is growing around the world. Maternal mental health research, studies in Malawi have, for instance, sought to determine and establish the incidence, prevalence, and factors that contribute to experiences of depression and anxiety in pregnant women. This paper reports stakeholder perspectives on potential community concerns with biopsychosocial mental health research (which might include collecting blood samples) in Malawi. These perspectives were generated through a ‘town hall’ event that featured five focus group discussions with various participants. The paper reflects on key themes from these discussions, demonstrating the endurance of long-standing concerns and practices around autonomy, consent, and the drawing of blood. We conclude by arguing that while maternal mental health research conducted in Malawi could benefit Malawian women and children, consultation with community stakeholders is necessary to inform whether and how such research should be conducted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
JournalEthics And Human Research
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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