Dataset Information


Adolescent mothers: A qualitative study on barriers and facilitators to mental health in a low-resource setting in Cape Town, South Africa.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Pregnant and postnatal adolescent women are a high-risk group for common mental disorders (CMDs); however, they have low levels of engagement and retention with mental health services. Negative consequences of CMDs have been documented for both mother and child. AIM:The study aimed to explore the barriers and facilitators to service access for adolescents in low-resource settings. SETTING:We interviewed 12 adolescents, aged 15-19 years, from low-resource settings in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants had previously engaged with a mental health service, integrated into maternity care. METHODS:Twelve semi-structured, individual interviews were used for this qualitative study. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded. A framework analysis was employed for data analysis. RESULTS:Adolescents perceived considerable stigma around both teenage pregnancy and mental illness, which inhibited use of mental health services. Other barriers included fearing a lack of confidentiality as well as logistical and environmental obstacles. Service uptake was facilitated by support from other adults and flexible appointment times. Face-to-face individual counselling was their preferred format for a mental health intervention. CONCLUSION:Several key components for adolescent-friendly mental health services emerged from our findings: integrate routine mental health screening into existing obstetric services to de-stigmatise mental health problems and optimise screening coverage; coordinate obstetric and counselling appointment times to rationalise the use of limited resources; and sensitise care providers to the needs of adolescents to reduce stigma around adolescent sexual activity and mental illness. A non-judgemental, caring and confidential relationship between counsellors and clients is crucial for successful interactions.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7300943 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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