Quality of life and the related factors in early postnatal women in Malawi

Madalitso Khwepeya, Karen Monsen, Shu Yu Kuo

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7 Scopus citations


Objective: To explore the quality of life (QOL) and related factors in early postnatal women. Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional study. Setting: Liwonde, Malawi. Participants: Women who underwent a normal vaginal birth (N = 173) were included from August to September 2018. Measurements: The QOL of participants was assessed using a World Health Organization QOL instrument. Demographic, obstetric, and health variables were collected using a structured questionnaire. Childbirth fear and depression were respectively assessed using the Wijma Delivery Experience Questionnaire and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. A multiple linear regression was used to examine factors associated with the QOL. Results: The mean age of participants was 29 (standard deviation 6.7) years. The overall QOL and health were satisfactory. The mean score of the QOL was highest in the psychological health and social relationships domains, followed by the environmental and physical health domains. A higher educational level was negatively related to the physical health of QOL (p ≤ 0.01), with physician care positively related (p = 0.01). The employment status was positively related to psychological health and the environmental QOL (p ≤ 0.01). Furthermore, a higher income, and physician care were positively related to the environmental QOL (p ≤ 0.05). High levels of childbirth fear and depressive symptoms were negatively related to all domains of the QOL (p ≤ 0.05), except for the social relationships domain. Conclusion and implications for practice: The physical health QOL was lower in postnatal mothers in Malawi. Measures to improve physical health aspects and address women's fears and depressive symptoms during postpartum care are warranted. The findings should alert the health providers of the importance of assessing and improving women's physical health and psychological well-being during postpartum care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102700
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST 107-2314-B-038-034-MY3 ; MOST 104-2314-B-038-008 ). This study was partly funded by Office of Global Engagement (OGE), Taipei Medical University, Taiwan. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funders. The funders had no role in any part of the study design, the data collection or analysis, the authors’ decision to publish these findings, or the preparation of the subsequent manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Childbirth fear
  • Demographics
  • Depression
  • Obstetrics
  • Postpartum period
  • Quality of life

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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