Exploring the cultural appropriateness of a psychosocial intervention, the Thinking Healthy Programme-Peer delivered (THPP), for perinatal depression in Lilongwe, Malawi

Mwawi Ng'oma, Najia Atif, Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Robert C Stewart, Ellen Chirwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Perinatal depression is a common and disabling mental health problem in Malawi and other Low- and middle-income countries. There is evidence for effective psychosocial interventions for perinatal depression, but no such intervention has been developed for use in Malawi. The broad aim of this study was to explore the cultural appropriateness of a psychosocial intervention for perinatal depression called the Thinking Healthy Programme-Peer delivered for adaptation and use in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Methods: A qualitative exploratory design was used. Data were collected through conducting five Focus Group Discussions, involving thirty-eight purposefully selected participants including pregnant women, community volunteers and their supervisors, the Health Surveillance Assistants and maternal health care workers at implementation and policy level following observations of video recorded role plays of the Thinking Healthy Programme-Peer delivered sessions in theatre testing. A content analysis approach was used to analyse data.

Results: Six main themes were generated regarding the appropriateness of the content and delivery of the Thinking Healthy Programme-Peer delivered intervention, including: 1) Focus of the intervention; 2) Cultural appropriateness of the content; 3) Language used; 4) Context; 5) Provider of the intervention; and 6) Flexibility in the delivery of the intervention. The Thinking Healthy Programme-Peer delivered intervention was deemed appropriate for the target population, though with recommendations to: review illustrations to enhance clarity, use culturally appropriate stories and idioms, use daily spoken language, and adapt the number and duration of sessions to meet the needs of individual clients.

Conclusions: These findings highlight important areas to inform adaptation of the Thinking Healthy Programme-Peer delivered and add to the growing evidence of cultural adaptation of psychosocial interventions for perinatal depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalMalawi medical journal
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Depression/psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malawi
  • Peer Group
  • Pregnancy
  • Propiophenones
  • Psychosocial Intervention

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